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Ideas to celebrate Earth Day 2021, virtually or in-person

Posted at 5:19 PM, Apr 21, 2021

For the second year in a row, Earth Day will be celebrated around the world in the middle of a global pandemic that is keeping people from gathering in large groups.

Below are some ideas if you are looking for ways to celebrate, whether on your own, watching together or virtually with others.

Virtual events:

  • “Connected by Earth”, an Earth Day program with NASA runs through April 24. It features live presentations from NASA scientists, videos and interactive science content for kids and adults.
  • National Geographic has gathered musicians, storytellers and activists for an Earth Day Eve celebration. Performers include Ziggy Marley, Willie Nelson, Yo-Yo Ma, Angélique Kidjo, AURORA, José González, Maggie Rogers, Rostam and Valerie June. It will premiere Wednesday night, and be available on their YouTube page to watch any time.
  • President Joe Biden has invited about 40 world leaders to take part in a Leaders Summit on Climate on Thursday and Friday. A live streamof the summit will be provided by the State Department starting Thursday at 8 a.m. ET.

New documentaries to watch:

  • “Secrets of the Whales” by National Geographic on Disney+. Narrated by Sigourney Weaver, the docuseries was filmed over a three-year period across 24 locations.
  • “The Year Earth Changed” on AppleTV+. The documentary is narrated by David Attenborough and looks at how the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns affected the nonhumans on this planet.


  • Get outside, if the weather allows. For a new path or revisiting an old one, websites like AllTrailsor HikingProjectcan help get you outside. In case you need motivation, a study in 2019found spending two hours walking in nature a week was associated with good health and wellbeing.
  • Plant something native. Head to your local garden store and ask about native plants or wildflower seeds. Depending on where you are in the country, now could be a good time to begin planting or weeding what you already have. If you are looking for a larger plant, the Arbor Day Foundationpartners with communities across the country to offer free native trees.
  • Scavenger hunt. No matter how old you, or your kids, are, there’s something about having a list of things to find and the satisfaction of crossing them off. All the better if they are outside. A quick search for “nature scavenger hunt” will pull up options from a stroll in your neighborhood to hiking through the mountains.
  • Make picking up trash part of every trip outside. One small thing all of us can do is pick up litter when we see it and dispose of it correctly. This can be done alone, with kids or with others. It can be done as part of a large event or simply every time you step outside.