Earth Day 2024: What Is It & How Can You Celebrate It In the UK?

19th Apr 2024
Earth Day 2024: What Is It & How Can You Celebrate It In the UK?

Every year on 22nd April, we come together to celebrate Earth Day – a symbolic birthday of our planet. A day that has been set aside to honour the planet and encourage everyone to live in tune with nature.

The very first Earth Day was kicked off by the founders of EARTHDAY.ORG back in 1970. Since that day, they’ve rallied over a billion people yearly to get involved. This coming Monday, people across the globe will take a moment out of their day to observe Earth Day. It’s more than just a date on the calendar—it’s a call to action from the original visionaries who wanted us to take better care of our planet, now home to about 8 billion people and countless other living creatures.

Curious about Earth Day? Here’s a quick dive into what it’s all about and how you can celebrate it in the UK.

What Is Earth Day & When Did It Start?

It all began on the 22nd of April, 1970, when John McConnell, a San Francisco activist, and Gaylord Nelson, a senator from Wisconsin, separately encouraged Americans to hit the streets in a grassroots demonstration. They were tackling big, scary issues like toxic drinking water, air pollution, and the harmful effects of pesticides. That day, a whopping 20 million Americans (10% of the population at the time) came together to demand change.

Kids with sweepers gather in New York City to clean the streets on the first-ever Earth Day in 1970. Credits: BETTMANN, GETTY IMAGES

Under President Richard Nixon’s leadership, the response was significant: the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of major environmental laws, such as the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act.

Originally, McConnell picked 22nd March 1970 (the spring equinox) for the event, but Nelson opted for 22nd April, which ultimately stuck as the official date. Choosing a fixed calendar date probably avoided the complications of a shifting equinox.

These days, Earth Day isn’t just about raising awareness of environmental issues. It’s also a prime time for communities to come together to clean up trash, plant trees, or simply appreciate the natural world around us.

What’s the Theme for Earth Day 2024?

The big focus for Earth Day 2024 is cutting down our plastic use to help both people and the planet. The goal is ambitious: a 60% reduction in all plastic production by 2040. And guess what? You can make a difference! Consider joining or organising a local cleanup to fight plastic pollution.

Credits: EarthDayOrg Youtube Channel

You could also run or attend workshops on sustainable alternatives to everyday plastic items or contribute to a public art project using recycled plastics. This highlights the environmental impact of plastic waste and promotes recycling. Below, you’ll find many activities and projects to help spruce up your local environment in the UK and worldwide! Don’t hold back, every little bit helps when it comes to protecting our planet!

What to Do for Earth Day? Earth Day Activities for UK & Beyond

Earth Day celebration. Credits:

This Earth Day, on 22nd April, let’s show some love for the great outdoors. Here are a few ideas and activities for properly celebrating this day in the UK. Also, check out the EARTHDAY.ORG Global Event Map to easily find events close to you – pop in your location and see all the exciting ways you can make a difference.

Best UK Events for Earth Day 2024

Earth Day at Space Park Leicester 2024

When? 22nd April, 3:00 – 6:30 pm 

Where? Space Park Leicester, 92 Corporation Road Leicester LE4 5SP United Kingdom

Celebrate Earth Day at Space Park Leicester with the National Centre of Earth Observation! Birding, bulb planting, unveiling the magic of sustainable art, diving into ecology activities, and many more.

Earth Day 2024 Charity Run

When? 20th, 21st and 22nd April 2024 

Where? Anywhere around UK

There are different ways to support this campaign, like cleaning up plastic around the neighbourhood, reducing, reusing and recycling, or even planting a tree. You can all make a difference to invest in our planet for many generations. So why not play your part by signing up for wonderful virtual run? It’s a fantastic opportunity to raise money and support brilliant charities.

Earth Day Deep Time Walk

When? 20 April, 11 am – 4 pm 

Where? Ashton Court Golf Course Car Park Long Ashton BS8 3PX United Kingdom

Walk a 4.6km geological timeline through the Ashton Court estate by way of experiencing the Earth’s deep history from its beginnings right up to the present Anthropocene moment.

A Deep Time Walk is a way of grasping the vastness of Earth’s 4.6 billion-year history when each step counts for one million years. Just by putting one foot in front of another, you’ll experience the phenomenal story of the evolution of our planet and glimpse how humans have evolved in the blink of a geological eye, resulting in today’s man-made climate and nature polycrises. There will be creative writing opportunities along the route to reflect on our insights and sharings.

Earth Day: Mindfulness in The Park

When? 21 April, 4 – 6 pm 

Where? Buile Hill Park, Eccles Old Road Salford M6 8GL United Kingdom

A short mindful walk through the park to the meditation spot in the fantastic Growing Togetherness community garden. The theme of Earth Day 2024 is Planet vs Plastics, so we will discuss how we can reduce, reuse and recycle plastic to help the environment. The event is free to attend.

Won’t Be Able to Make It? Other Ideas to Celebrate Earth Day 2024

Earth Day Infographic
  • Clean up plastic in your neighborhood
  • Plant a tree
  • Turn off the lights
  • Limit your water usage
  • Reduce, reuse, and recycle in the garden
  • Go plastic-free for a day (or more)
  • Nature walk or hike
  • Sustainable meal event
  • Eco-friendly craft day
  • Watch eco-documentary
  • Spread the message

Wrapping up, Earth Day isn’t just a once-a-year event; it’s a call to action for ongoing commitment to our planet. By engaging in activities like local cleanups, sustainable eating, and wildlife conservation, we not only honour Earth Day but also contribute to a healthier planet every day.

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