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How to Celebrate Earth Day in San Francisco

Earth Day. A time to highlight the variety of important issues facing our earth on a daily basis, educate people on these issues, and motivate people to take action. Action against pollution, deforestation, climate change, plastic waste, and more. And this one day, celebrated annually for 51 years, has created major changes that impact our lives today. Just think about how that change could be magnified if small changes took place every day.

What Impact Has Earth Day Made?

Earth Day began in 1970 with the goal of elevating environmental concerns, and putting them in the forefront. Initially, Earth Day began as a teach-in on college campuses and focused on student participation in rallies to bring awareness to the deterioration of the environment. What started out small, turned into a massive movement, and within a few short years, a number of major agencies and acts were established, including:

  • The Environmental Protection Agency
  • The National Environmental Education Act
  • Occupational Safety & Health Act
  • The Clean Air Act

Since then, Earth Day has expanded, and grown into a globally celebrated day, and has paved the way for recycling efforts, cleaner energy sources and more discussion around climate change. Today the focus remains the same – highlight the issues facing our environment, educate people on those issues, and take action to combat those issues.

What Can I Do To Celebrate Earth Day?

There are a variety of ways that Earth Day can be celebrated. Some take place on, or near Earth Day, while others can be incorporated into your daily life.

Activities you can do before Earth Day

  • Exploratorium’s Virtual Earth Day Celebration: The Exploratorium’s YouTube channel will include a livestream of three Earth Day segments: “Exploring Earth Science in your Kitchen”, “Environmental Benefits of Sheltering in Place”, and “Exponential Growth”.
  • Virtual Earth Day at Slide Ranch: Slide Ranch will release videos on YouTube and other activities on Instagram throughout the day.
  • City Nature Challenge from Your Own Backyard: Co-organized by the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County and San Francisco’s California Academy of Sciences, this challenge encourages people of all ages to observe and submit pictures of wild plants, animals, and fungi in their backyard. Pictures should be submitted using the mobile app iNaturalist.
  • Earth Day 2021 – Expedition Sail to the Farallon Islands aboard Schooner Freda B: This all-day expedition offers a chance to see the Farallon Islands.
  • 12th Annual Point Reyes Birding & Nature VIRTUAL Festival: This four-day virtual conference offers 24 webinars covering topics from at risk wild life monarch migration, bird songing and a look at San Francisco Bay’s wildlife phenomena.
  • NatGeo at Home’s Earth Week: [email protected] is National Geographic’s hub and it’s filled with learning resources to engage kids to make the world a better place. During the Earth Week celebration, the hub will offer animal videos, DIY projects and live talks from National Geographic Explorers.
  • Join the Clean Bay Challenge!: Baykeeper is inviting Bay Area residents to help clean up trash in their neighborhood, at nearby parks and along shorelines.
  • Celebrate Earth Day with California State Parks Foundation: Register for the Virtual Earth Day Climate Action kit, join the in-person Earth Day Climate Action events, or join their webinars.

Earth Day Activities For Every Day

  • Plant A Tree: If you have the space, consider planting a tree which provides oxygen, a home and resources to many animals.
  • Install A Birdfeeder Or Birdhouse: Give the birds a place to eat or stay, and enjoy the added benefit of beautiful birds.
  • Ride A Bike: Skip the car for short trips, and ride your bike, or walk to where you need to go.
  • Skip Plastic Straws: Opt for paper, or a re-usable straw instead.
  • Use Re-Usable Water Bottles & Mugs: Invest in a water bottle or mug that you like and avoid the waste.
  • Go Paperless: Online, or emailed bills and invoices avoid unnecessary paper waste.
  • Use The Library: Check out a favorite, or grab an interesting read about the environment or the earth.
  • Plant A Garden: If you have the space, plant a small garden, or a few plants. Or, check into community garden.
  • Support Local Farmers: Shop at local farmer’s markets, or join a CSA for fresh produce.
  • Compost: Request a compost bucket from Recology and begin to compost your food scraps. Check out the benefits of composting on Kiss The Ground’s YouTube channel.
  • Calculate Your Carbon Footprint: Calculate your footprint, and learn ways to reduce it.
  • Food Prep For The Week: Saves time, energy and trips to the grocery store. And, look into other ways to stop food waste.
  • Skip The Pesticides: If you have a garden of any kind, skip the pesticides and protect the pollinators.
  • Skip The Meat: Curb carbon emissions from the livestock industry by skipping meat once a week.
  • Donate Your Clothes & Home Goods: Instead of throwing them in the trash, donate them so that someone else can make use of them.
  • Learn About Earth Day: The Earth Day website offers history, resources and numerous opportunities to get involved.

With so many different ways to celebrate Earth Day, why not give one or two a try!