Top 10 Ways for Students to Celebrate Earth Day

Earth Day is every day, but the official celebration occurs on April 22. To gear up for the big day, the National Wildlife Federation EcoLeaders team has prepared a list of ideas for college students to consider as they plan their Earth Day celebrations.

Enjoy the list below and be sure to check out NWF EcoLeaders, a leadership and career development program for students and young professionals.

El Paso Community College



1. Working with campus facilities, post signage near green spaces on campus to educate the community on the importance of these spaces and their role in supporting wildlife in a warming climate. Explore more ideas on climate adaptation.

James Byard/WUSTL Photos
James Byard/WUSTL Photos

2. Working with campus facilities, design and build a rooftop garden and highlight the benefits of energy conservation and habitat for birds and bees. Explore more ideas on green buildings.

3. Partnering with a local hardware store, and providing free CFL lightbulbs to lower-income community homes to help them save energy. Explore more ideas on community and environmental justice.

4. Doing a daily trash audit of your dorm room or house and identifying items that could have been recycled or reused and share this news with the occupants. Explore more ideas on consumption and waste.

Hosting a week-long or month-long campaign in your dorm or house to educate occupants about turning off the lights, unplugging electronics when not in use, and other energy conservation tips. Explore more ideas on energy conservation.

Niraj Credited6. Organizing a food festival, in partnership with your campus dining services and local farms, to offer local foods and educate about the benefits of buying local. Explore more ideas on food.

7. Organizing a restoration project, choose an existing landscaped area that could be restored with native species or an unused developed area that could be restored back to green space to support campus plants and animals. Explore more ideas on habitat and wildlife.

Working with your campus bookstore, organize a special section right up front that features recycled-content items for students and staff to purchase. Explore more ideas on greener purchasing.

University of Chicago recycles - Photo by Tom McGrath9. Hosting a bicycle week during Earth week or anytime during April and provide incentives to students, faculty and staff that bike the most miles. Explore more ideas on greener transportation.

10. Working with campus facilities, host a rain barrel painting contest and place the rain barrels throughout campus to collect water for landscaping. Explore more ideas on water conservation.

Join Now

Once you have decided on a way to take action for Earth Day, log-in or register at, and share your action through the “Start a Project” opportunity or share in the Forums.

If you’re looking to keep the momentum of Earth Day festivities going, Endangered Species Day is May 19th! But you don’t have to wait! You can celebrate Endangered Species Day in April for Earth Day, or as an end of school event or post-exam activity on May 19. Endangered Species Day is a time to recognize the endangered species on your campus, in your community, and across the U.S. and take action to protect their habitat. Learn more!

And finally, don’t forget, when you join NWF EcoLeaders, you can earn recognition for your project-based leadership through NWF EcoLeader’s Certification offerings (a great resume booster)! Learn more about the full suite of certification levels here:

NWF EcoLeader Certification Badges