7 Ways You Can Celebrate Earth Day This Weekend

The sun is shining, the trees are greening, spring is in the air, and it's EARTH DAY!

By: Emily Kent + Save to a List

Earth Day became an official national holiday in 1970 during the height of U.S. counterculture, and in 1990 the holiday went global. In its 46th year, Earth Day is a day where the world comes together to celebrate an ongoing movement to take better care of our natural environment. It serves as a day to remind us all that environmental consciousness is not only something to be celebrated each year on April 22nd, but an important way of life for us all, day in and day out. There are oodles of events, festivals, summits and get-togethers happening around the globe this weekend. Here are a few ways to get outside, take action, celebrate and enjoy this weekend:

Hike the Yurok Loop Trail | Photo: Jason Hatfield

1. Find a nearby hiking trail (or somewhere you've always wanted to check out).

Rally your favorite adventure buddies with the promise of pizza and beer at the end of the day, and hit the trail with empty trash and recycle bags to do a trail clean-up along your journey (but we always do this anyway, right?!). No need to tell them it's a "community clean up" event; just have fun and follow through with the brew at the end!

2. Find an event!

Hit up the Earth Day website at www.earthday.org to view a world map of events taking place around the globe from community beach clean-ups and tree planting events, to Fun Runs and festivals: Earth Day 2016 Events. The site makes it easy to register online for all listed events.

The Nature Conservancy also makes it easy to find green happenings around the U.S. Check out their listings here: The Nature Conservancy Volunteer Opportunities.

Or, start closer to home and contact your local Park and Rec board. Many state parks are hosting cleanup and restoration events involving trail maintenance, habitat restoration, etc. You get the idea.

Photo: Christin Healey

3. Opt for two wheels instead of four.

Leave your car parked for the day and grab your bike instead! It’s a simple way to get outside, be active, and help our planet.

4. If you have kids, go plant a tree together!

The National Wildlife Federation offers an opportunity for groups to apply to receive free trees to plant in your community (Arbor Day Trees). It can be such an awesome way for kids to have fun together playing in the dirt, doing good for the environment. It's outdoor education disguised as playing in the mud. Good stuff!

Photo: Emily Kent

5. No kids? Go plant a tree with friends, family, or on your own! =)

Adults like to play in the dirt too, right? Right. And a good solo adventure never hurt anyone.

6. No time to dig in the dirt? Break open your piggy bank.

Before you head out on your weekend adventure, visit the Earth Day Network website and donate a few dollars to help with the "Canopy Project". The Network kicked off this project in 2011 and has since then planted over 3 million trees around the globe, in areas where reforestation has been most needed.

OR, you can surprise your buddy, your partner, your crush or your favorite kid by gifting them a tree from the Arbor Day Foundation. A bouquet of flowers can be nice, but they wither eventually. Here is something that can keep growing!

7. Cheers to the Earth!

Last but definitely not least, most breweries always have a reason to celebrate beer. So after you've restored your local trails and planted your trees, you've earned a cold one. Check with your favorite brewery or tap room and ask if they're organizing any Earth Day proceeds. If not, you might ask if they'd consider. Donations can be submitted to the Earth Day Network here: Earth Day Network Donations

Whichever way the trail leads us this weekend, let’s get outside, have some fun, and do our part to make this world a better, greener, cleaner place!

Cover photo: Brian Fulda

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