Earth Day

How To Celebrate Earth Day 2021

Culture /

Everything you need to know about Earth Day

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The first Earth Day took place in 1970, launched by US senator and environmentalist Gaylord Nelson in 1970 to highlight the importance of clean air and clean water. Since then it’s become an annual event – worryingly, taking on a greater urgency each year.

While C02 emissions dropped during the pandemic, they’re now back to where they were before. And, according to the IPCC, levels need to fall by around 45 per cent by 2030 to keep global warming to 1.5°C. We have a lot of work to do.

Celebrated on 22 April, Earth Day brings together millions of people from all over the world in support of the environment. The theme for 2021 is Restore Our Earth, looking at ways we can repair the damage that’s already been done and encouraging every individual to think about what they can do to help.

Organisers are calling for three days of climate action from 20 – 22 April, though there will be events taking place throughout the week. Below we highlight some of them, plus other ways you can get involved.

Earth Day 2021: How To Get Involved

Organise a clean up

Beach clean

Getty Images

Participate in The Great Global Cleanup. Get a group together – you can register your clean here – or go it alone. The Earth Day website suggests going on your favourite walking trail and picking up litter, or even just doing a clear up in your home by looking at the waste you create and removing single-use items. Fancy getting a bit of exercise in while you’re at it? Give plogging a go. Also known as ‘eco running’, the endeavour involves collecting plastic litter from the streets as you run, jog or hike. Not only will your efforts benefit the planet, plogging will have you using a variety of different muscles as you bend, squat and reach for rubbish.

Tune into Earth Day Live

With coronavirus measures still very much in place across the world, the official events line-up for Earth Day will take place online. Earth Day Live will see 10 hours of digital programming taking place on 22 April, including talks and panel discussions with the likes of Greta Thunberg, plus vegan cooking classes, music and more. Topics being discussed will include climate literacy, restoration efforts, citizen science, regenerative agriculture and more – you can view the full programme here.

Organise a teach-in

Educating ourselves and others is crucial in our fight to save the planet, so why not set up a teach-in? You can find advice on how to do this on the Earth Day website, with suggestions for topics to discuss alongside information on how to create a virtual event.

View WePresent: Groundwork x Karrabing Collective

Karrabing Film Collective

WePresent, the cultural arm of WeTransfer, will be delving into Karrabing Film Collective’s film The Family this Earth Day, a film that reflects on the Earth’s soil and ancestral history. This will form part of online series Groundwork, an initiative running in collaboration with Serpentine introduced both to explore artistic responses to the climate crisis and raise funds for climate action charities. Throughout the online exhibition, viewers can donate to the collective’s Art Residency for Ancestors project.

Check out Selfridges’ virtual programme

Can reselling our clothes create a better future for fashion? How can we inspire effective thought leadership for the future? These are two of the big questions being discussed in Selfridges’ virtual Earth Day programme, which will see pioneering experts discuss some of the biggest issues in the sustainability field. There are three events taking place: a talk on how one on democratising nature on 22 April, another on resale and repair in fashion on 23 April, and a final talk on climate activism on 24 April. It all ties into the department store’s theme for 2021: Good Nature, a celebration of pleasure in the natural world.

Watch Joe Biden’s climate summit

US president Joe Biden has invited 40 world leaders to take part in a virtual summit on 22 and 23 April, which will also be live-streamed. Pope Francis, Al Gore and Christiana Figueres, co-architect of the 2015 Paris Agreement, will all be there.


While Earth Day is brilliant for putting the planet front and centre, we should of course be making sustainable choices every day. To find out more, check out our round up of books, documentaries and podcasts about the environment, which are all packed with useful information and advice.

For more information on Earth Day, visit


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