5 Ways to Act for the Planet During Earth Month


April is the month we come together to celebrate this incredible planet on which we live. Biodiversity loss, pollution, and a warming climate can bring up many emotions, but we have hope, and hope is powerful. Start with one simple action that can be taken no matter where you live. During Earth Month and beyond, we challenge teachers and students to get involved.

Are you ready to make a difference? Start with these 5 ideas to help the planet.

1. Join a Global Campaign

Here’s a great way to take positive actions to get more connected to nature and local biodiversity either individually or as a class. Between April 20-April 30, choose one or all five activities from the list to complete within ten days. Be a nature detective, learn about threatened or endangered species, or research environmental labels on everyday food products. For more details about Global Action Days, including teacher notes and an activity guide, check out the Foundation for Environmental Education’s website.

2. Get To Know Environmental Justice Leaders

Air pollution, contaminated water, catastrophic weather-related flooding—are all issues that disproportionately impact communities of color. Environmental Justice leaders of all ages are working to bring these issues to the forefront and to ensure the voices of those most impacted are included in any discussion about solutions and the decision-making process. Dr. Mustafa Santiago Ali, the National Wildlife Federation’s VP of Environmental Justice, Climate, and Community Revitalization, recommends looking at the Jemez Principles and the 17 Principles of Environmental Justice as a starting point to learn about the basic tenants of Environmental Justice. Commit to learning more about landmark events that have impacted communities of color, and read NWF’s Environmental Justice, Climate, and Community Revitalization Program’s new 11 Examples to Build Back Better report which uplifts federal investment opportunities for fenceline communities and highlights frontline community needs. Use these resources to find a way to get involved in your community to ensure all voices are heard.

3. Learn How To Plant For Pollinators

Do you plant with a purpose—with wildlife in mind? Have you thought about increasing the habitat found at school or in your backyard to attract more birds, bees, and butterflies? The National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife™ program has been working since 1973 to do just that, encouraging people at home, school, and in their community to create habitat that provides food, water, cover, and places to raise young while also incorporating sustainable practices. Discover how to plant with a purpose and learn more about the importance of keystone plants.

4. Explore Earth Day 2022’s Movement to #InvestInOurPlanet

Since the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, over 1 billion people have been mobilized for the future of the planet. This year, the theme is all about investing in our planet by encouraging sustainable business practices, building a green economy, and using our collective voice to create positive change. Find out how you can get involved.

5. Start Repurposing Plastic

Efforts at recycling plastic bottles and reducing usage of single-use plastics seem to be falling short worldwide. According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are thrown away each year! One positive action students can take is to learn how to repurpose plastic grocery bags creatively. Check out this activity connected to the story One Plastic Bag—to create a jump rope using plastic bags, scissors, and duct tape.

Find more details and the complete list of 10 Simple Actions to Take for the Planet on the Eco-Schools USA website. What is your hope for the future, and what will you do to make a difference?