Earth Day • April 22, 2021

Earth Day | April 22, 2021

On April 22 people all over the world will celebrate Earth Day – a day to raise environmental awareness and inspire people to take action in making the planet healthy for this and future generations. Learn more about this special day and how you can join in the celebration.

The theme for Earth Day 2021 is Restore the Earth.

Become an Earth Hero

Our planet is a beautiful place, but it also needs our help to keep it that way! Become your community's new Earth Hero by completing the activity handout below.

⮇ Click here to download the Earth Hero activity handout (PDF 17 MB) ⮇

To continue supporting the Earth, we suggest you only print out pages 4, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15. Don’t forget to scan the QR codes on pages 8, 9 and 11!

This activity handout provides ways that you can help make your community a better place to protect our Earth, its resources, and its people. As Earth Heroes, you can find multiple ways to protect our planet by completing each activity in your classroom or at home. By reducing our waste, recycling properly, and reusing items we help out our fellow National Wildlife Refuge ambassadors the Western Snowy Plover or the California Ridgway's Rail; at the same time, we are saying ‘thank you’ to the Earth.

History of Earth Day

The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970 represented a year-long coalition to raise environmental awareness and involve citizens in creating a healthier planet.

Senator Gaylord Nelson, a junior senator from Wisconsin, had long been concerned about the deteriorating environment in the US. In 1969, he devised a plan to raise environmental awareness and put pressure on politicians to support environmental legislation.

Hayes along with fellow organizers built a national staff of 85 to promote events across the nation. Earth Day inspired an estimated 20 million Americans to take to the streets and rally against the negative impacts of pollution.

He recruited Denis Hayes, a young activist and student at Harvard University, to organize the first Earth Day. To maximize student participation, April 22 was chosen because it fell between Spring Break and Final exams.

After Earth Day...

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created in December 1970 to protect human health and the environment.

The Clean Air Act of 1970 was established to limit harmful air emissions.

The Clean Water Act of 1972 was passed to protect the nation’s waterways from pollution.

The Marine Mammal Protection Act was passed in 1972 to maintain the health and stability of the marine ecosystem.

The Endangered Species Act was passed in 1973 to protect and recover threatened and endangered species and the ecosystems they depend upon.

Get Involved!

One of easiest way to get involved and keep our planet healthy is preventing trash and pollution from entering watersheds. What is a watershed? A watershed is an area of land that drains water into a creek, river, lake, or bay.

Pollution in our watersheds degrades the environment, harms wildlife habitat, and ultimately hurts human health. Keep watersheds clean by picking up trash and preventing pollution from entering storm drains which drain into watersheds.

Learn more about protecting watersheds and keeping Earth’s ecosystems healthy here:


From April 20-22, join the world’s leaders for Earth Day 2021.


Earth Day 2021 begins with a global youth climate summit led by Earth Uprising, in collaboration with My Future My Voice, OneMillionOfUs and hundreds of youth climate activists.

The global youth summit will consist of panels, speeches, discussions, and special messages with today’s youth climate activists including Greta Thunberg, Alexandria Villaseñor, and Licypriya Kangujam.

In the evening on April 20, the Hip Hop Caucus and its partners will present the “We Shall Breathe” virtual summit. This digital event will examine climate and environmental justice, connecting the climate crisis to issues of pollution, poverty, police brutality, and the pandemic, all within a racial justice framework.


Education International will lead the “Teach for the Planet: Global Education Summit.”

The multilingual virtual summit will span several time zones and feature prominent activists from every continent, focused on the crucial role that educators play in combating climate change and why we need transformative climate education now. 


Parallel to the Biden Administration’s global climate summit, EARTHDAY.ORG will have its second Earth Day Live digital event, right here. The global show begins at 12 PM Eastern Time.

Workshops, panel discussions, and special performances will focus on Restore Our Earth™ — we’ll cover natural processes, emerging green technologies, and innovative thinking that can restore the world’s ecosystems.

More topics will include:

Climate and environmental literacy
Climate restoration technologies
Reforestation efforts
Regenerative agriculture
Equity and environmental justice
Citizen science
Cleanups, and more.

World climate leaders, grassroots activists, nonprofit innovators, thought leaders, industry leaders, artists, musicians, influencers, and the leaders of tomorrow will come to push us towards a better world.