50 Ways to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Week

(download a pdf version of this list here)

On Earth Day, April 22:

  • EarthRise Digital Earth Day – Earth Day Network is coordinating a global digital mobilization that drives actions big and small, gives diverse voices a platform and demands bold action for people and the planet. Over the 24 hours of Earth Day, EARTHRISE will include global conversations, calls to action, performances, video teach-ins and more.
  • Webinar on Happiness & Sustainability Around the Earth – The Sustainable Development Solutions Network is hosting a 24-hour webinar event on Earth Day to explore the Sustainable Development Goals through the lens of well-being and happiness.

Educate Yourself:

In Your Community:

  • When possible, support Maine State Parks and other conservation lands by visiting one of the many locations across the state. Although many are closed right now, some are still open – be sure to practice physical distancing, but turn back if the park begins to get crowded.
  • Use your phone to take photos of plants, insects, and other wildlife on your property and upload it iNaturalist to learn what they are.
  • Try out a new walk or bike route. Be sure to practice physical distancing for as long as cautions are in place.
  • Plant a tree or donate a tree through the Earth Day Canopy Project.
  • Buy local food to reduce the distance from farm to fork. Buy straight from the farm, frequent your local farmers’ market, or join a local food co-op.
  • Go “Plogging.” When you’re on a walk or a run, pick up trash along the way. Don’t forget to wear gloves!

Get Involved:

Use Your Voice:

At Home:

  • If you don’t already, get in the habit of composting. Check out these tips from UMaine Cooperative Extension.
  • Create a vegetable garden.
  • Swap disposable kitchen and bath products for reusable versions.
  • Make a reusable t-shirt bag.
  • Repot that plant that outgrew its pot last season that you’ve “been meaning to get to” – your plant will be so happy!
  • Try a new meatless recipe, and incorporate more vegetarian and vegan meals into your week. Reduce your meat consumption to curb carbon emissions from the livestock industry.
  • Avoid bottled water by always filling up your reusable water bottle before you head out of the house.
  • Keep a stash of cloth rags in a basket or bag in convenient places around your home, for use instead of paper towels.
  • Work to reduce the amount of plastic you use. Stop using disposable plastics, especially single-use plastics like bottles, bags and straws.
  • When you need to use paper, make sure it’s 100% post-consumer recycled paper.
  • Do some “spring clearing-out” with the goal of bringing items to the Black Bear Exchange, local animal shelters, Adoptive & Foster Families of Maine, Goodwill or Salvation Army, when they are open for collections. Make sure to contact them before you plan your deliver your donation.
  • If it’s spring cleaning you’re doing, use toxic-free cleaning products—find out how to make your own with everyday ingredients around your home by downloading a copy of the Natural Resources Council’s Clean & Healthy Housekeeping brochure.
  • Organize your refrigerator in a way that helps you reduce food waste. Store meat and fish on the bottom shelf where it’s coldest. Put veggies in the high-humidity drawer, and fruits in the low humidity drawer. Store leftovers on the upper shelf and label them with dates. Don’t put milk or eggs in the door where it is the warmest.
  • Plant native plants in your yard. Non-natives can out-compete native species for resources. Look especially for plants that attract pollinators and other insects that are part of a healthy ecosystem and that rely on native plants for food and habitat.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle:

  • Recycle batteries from small appliances and your electronics. Use rechargeable batteries instead!
  • Collect used printer, fax, and copier cartridges to recycle.
  • Recycle paper, plastic and glass. Reduce your garbage by 10% and your carbon footprint by 1,200 pounds a year.
  • Take a shorter shower and use a water-saving shower head.
  • Set your printer to print two-sided.
  • Switch to e-billing. It saves paper and ensures health safety—so important right now!
  • Conserve natural resources by turning something old into something new! Find thousands of ideas at:
  • Skip the dryer and hang clothes on a line outside. If that’s not possible, use a drying rack that you can set up inside.
  • Turn off and unplug electronics you’re not using. This includes turning off your computer at night.
  • Turn off lights when you leave a room.
  • Run your dishwasher only when it’s full to save water and energy.
  • Wash your clothes only when necessary, use cold water and line dry.