Get inspired to make every day Earth Day

Posted on by Ed Kromer. This entry was posted in Engaging Interests, Staying Healthy, Volunteerism. Bookmark the permalink.

April 22 is Earth Day, as it has been since 1970, when it was established just a few months after congress created the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA, whose mission is to protect human health and the environment, laid the path to the several important pieces of environmental legislation, among them the Clean Air ActClean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act. Prior to these legislative acts, there were no legal or regulatory mechanisms to protect our environment.

In their early years, the EPA’s good works and Earth Day’s good vibes may have seemed like enough. Not so anymore. With every new year’s battery of heatwaves, droughts, megafires and superstorms, we get a glimpse of a new normal in the near future of a world remade by human-driven climate change.

And so, let’s resolve to do more than just mark another Earth Month with an annual appreciation of colorful blossoms and green trees and blue skies, of soft rain and clean air and mild temperatures, of singing birds and buzzing bees, of abundant crops and crystalline water.

Let’s resolve to treat every day as Earth Day, develop sustainable habits, mindful actions and meaningful advocacy to protect, preserve and sustain the planet on which our very lives depend.

Here are some ways to get educated, give support, find inspiration, take action.

Earth Month at UW

A month full of opportunities to learn and act.

Brockman Memorial Tree Tour
April 6, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. / Husky Union Building

A free, guided tour of significant trees growing on the UW Campus, plus the importance of campus biodiversity and our city’s urban forest for sustainability and adaptability in the age of climate change.

Bird Friendly Campus Tour
April 6 and April 20, 9-10:30 a.m. / PACCAR Hall steps

Learn how Bird Friendly UW is creating a bird-friendly campus and discover the best spots on campus to enjoy birding.

Robert Bullard: The Quest for Environmental and Climate Justice
April 9, 6:30 p.m. / Town Hall Seattle

The “father of environmental justice” will discuss the need to empower vulnerable populations, identify climate change “hot spots” and design fair, just and effective strategies to adapt, mitigate, manage emergencies and build resilient communities. Registration required.

UW Bothell River Defenders
April 9, 1-3 p.m. / UW Bothell CC1-010

Panel discussion on the fights to protect the Amazon and Duwamish Rivers and communities featuring experts Johnny Giffoni and Jamie Hearn.

Race, Health & Justice Symposium
April 12, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. / Kane Hall Walker Ames Room

Students, faculty, researchers and members of the public will discuss racial disparities in population health and health care, and the broader social, political, economic and historical structures in which they occur. Registration required.

An Afternoon with Kate Raworth
April 15, noon / Town Hall Seattle and livestream

The author of the best-selling “Doughnut Economics” will remotely implore us to view economic theory inclusive of 21st century realities to better our communities and businesses.

Reducing Professional Air Travel
April 17, noon / Zoom

Marilyn Ostergren of UW Sustainability will discuss the greenhouse gas emissions related to the UW’s professional air travel, and how to reduce our impact. Part of the “Creating a Sustainable Campus” webinar series.

Earth Day at the Arboretum
April 20, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. / UW Arboretum

Celebrate the UW Arboretum’s 90th birthday with Volunteer service opportunities, education stations, food truck and free tram rides around the Arboretum Loop Trail.

UW Tacoma Earth Day Celebration
April 22, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. / UW Tacoma

Celebrate Earth Day with the UW Tacoma Husky Sustainability Fund. Featuring activities, music, food, a clothing swap, art making, free succulents and plant starts.

UW Earth Day Fair
April 23, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. / Ethnic Cultural Center

Featuring departments, organizations and student groups from across the UW that are working for sustainability.

UW Bothell Earth Month Fair
April 23, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. / UW Bothell Plaza

Free pop-up thrifting, music, snacks and activities.

UW Surplus Reusable Tote Giveaway
April 23, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. / UW Surplus Public Store

Snag a special Earth Day giveaway: a fun UW Surplus-branded reusable shopping bag made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. Limit one per customer, while supplies last.

“Just Sustainabilities” in Policy, Planning and Practice
April 24, 6 p.m. / Architecture Hall

Julian Agyeman will expand on how we might pursue “just sustainabilities”—more fair and equitable approaches to address uncertain futures—in this lecture hosted by the UW College of Built Environments.

Union Bay Natural Area Volunteer Restoration
April 24, 1-3 p.m. / Douglas Research Conservatory (west entrance)

Get your hands dirty and gain some restoration experience removing invasive blackberries from the Union Bay Natural Area. Leather gloves and heavy duty clothes recommended. Registration required.

Decarbonizing our Energy System
April 25, 10 a.m. / Zoom

Learn how the UW is transitioning from fossil fuels from Dave Woodson, executive director of Campus Energy, Utilities and Operations. Part of the “Creating a Sustainable Campus” webinar series.

Arbor Day Tree Tour
Friday, April 26, 10 a.m.-noon / Anderson Hall (west bus shelter)

Discover some of the most popular trees in Seattle, plus specimens not usually seen around town, and learn how to plant and care for city trees—and what they give us in return. Free and open to the public.

Northwest Nature & Health Symposium
May 1, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. / Intellectual House

Researchers, community members and decision makers will discuss new discoveries, policies and programs, and advance partnerships.

Find the full listing of Earth Month events at UW Sustainability.

Learn more and take action

Check out numerous earth-friendly volunteer opportunities through UW Sustainability, at the UW Farm, Botanical Gardens, Food Pantry, Native Plant Nursery, Society for Ecological Restoration and more.

Dig into Earth Month: Urban Gardening (UW Combined Fund Drive)

Reduce, reduce and recycle properly: Check out UW Facilities disposal guide.

UW Sustainability Action Plan: Read through what UW is doing to be more sustainable.

51 Ways to Restore Our Earth: For us, every day is Earth Day. If you feel the same, here are 51 actions and tips to make a difference, every day of the year.

Greener Living: EPA has tools to help you learn and understand the issues and help you reduce your environmental footprint.

How to reduce your carbon footprint (New York Times)

Earth Day Quizzes: How much do you know about our planet? (

Support your planet

Consider making a one-time contribution or setting up payroll deduction to a UW Combined Fund Drive member organizations working on environmental conservation and sustainability education:

350 Seattle – creating climate justice by resisting fossil fuels, building momentum for healthy alternatives and fostering resilient, just and welcoming communities (Charity Code: 1482388).

Conservation Northwest – connecting habitats, protecting wildlands and restoring wildlife (charity code 0320835).

Carbon Washington Foundation – accelerating the transition to a vibrant clean-energy economy and advocating for carbon reduction policies (charity code 1482524).

EarthCorps – engaging emerging leaders from around the world to restore Washington’s salmon habitat, forests and hiking trails. Imagine the PeaceCorps in reverse Charity Code: 0314963).

EarthJustice – wielding the power of law to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, protect people’s health, advance clean energy and combat climate change. (Charity Code: 0314964).

EarthShare Washington – bringing together individuals, workplaces and communities to protect our planet’s health (charity code 0316709).

Forterra – unconventional land trust that works across Washington’s communities and landscapes, reaching more than 100 counties, cities, towns and rural communities. Charity Code: 0456443

Friends of the Earth – promoting clean and sustainable energy and transportation, climate justice for vulnerable populations, responsible use of technology and protection of the earth (charity code 0314972).

Greenpeace – exposing global environmental problems and promoting solutions for future generations (charity code 0314978).

Long Live the Kings – restoring wild salmon and steelhead and supporting sustainable fishing in the Pacific Northwest (Charity Code: 1482467)

The Nature Conservancy – conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends (Charity Code: 0315001).

Tilth Alliance – building a sustainable, healthy and equitable food future (charity code 0335424).

UW Campus Sustainability Fund – funding student-led projects that lessen the UW’s environmental impact (Charity Code: 1482577).

UW Husky Green Fund – supporting activities that continue the University’s vision and leadership for environmental stewardship (Charity Code: 1479534)

UW Washington Sea Grant Development Fund – helping people understand and address the challenges facing Washington’s ocean and coasts (Charity Code: 1482739)

Zero Waste Washington – catalyzing cutting-edge recycling and waste prevention policies and programs in Washington (charity code 0315047).