The environment is a global issue which affects all countries and continents. And a look at the calendar shows no shortage of global environmental events. We’ve gone ahead and listed all of the major environmental events, have a look a below:
National Bird Day – January 5
The Avian Welfare Coalition established National Bird Day to promote the well-being of bird populations. It aims to bring attention of the cruelties of the bird trade, and to educate people on improving the welfare of birds of captivity.
World Wetlands Day – February 2
World Wetlands Day exists to draw attention to the role of wetlands in our environment, and each year focuses on a different theme, such as wetlands and climate change. It’s an initiative related to the Convention on Wetlands, an international treaty governing their use.
World Day of Social Justice – February 20
The UN’s World Day of Social Justice highlights the belief that social justice is critical to peace and security. Each year, the day has a different theme, and the UN holds an official event related to that theme.
International Polar Bear Day – February 27
The non-profit Polar Bears International established International Polar Bear Day to raise awareness of the plight of polar bears in a warming Arctic. It aims to improve their welfare by fighting climate change, particularly by encouraging people to lower their thermostats for a specified day.
World Spay Day – Last Tuesday in February
World Spay Day, an initiative of the Humane Society, is an effort to increase support for spay and neuter programs. Animal rescue organizations are encouraged to use the day to offer free spaying and neutering in underserved communities and to spay and neuter stray animals.
World Wildlife Day – March 3
The UN’s World Wildlife Day exists to bring attention to the planet’s wild plants and animals. The day focuses on a different theme each year, ranging from big cats to wildlife crime.
International Women’s Day – March 8
International Women’s Day has a dual purpose: promoting gender equality and celebrating accomplishments of women. The UN recognized International Women’s Day in 1975, but groups around the globe have been observing it since the early-1900s.
Meatout – March 20
As the name suggests, Meatout is an anti-meat movement. A collaboration of various organizations, it encourages people to pledge to eat vegan for one dedicated day.
International Day of Forests – March 21
The UN’s International Day of Forests celebrates forests’ role in sustaining life on earth and aims to combat deforestation. The UN encourages member states to recognize this day by organizing activities such as tree-planting events.
World Water Day – March 22
The UN’s World Water Day is an effort to bring awareness to the importance of water. The day has a specific theme each year, and recent themes have examined water’s relationship to energy, jobs, or sustainable development.
World Meteorological Day – March 23
The UN’s World Meteorological Day commemorates the establishment of the World Meteorological Organization, the UN agency tasked with tracking weather and climate change. The day takes on a different theme each year, such as natural disasters or polar meteorology.
Earth Hour – Last Saturday in March (8:30-9:30pm)
Unlike the other observances listed here, Earth Hour lasts just one hour. This movement encourages people to turn off all their lights and electrical appliances for one designated hour.
Earth Day – April 22
Earth Day is a day to focus on the environment, and it’s one most of us have heard of. In fact, it has become the world’s largest secular observance. Unlike most of the days on this list, Earth Day is officially recognized by the U.S. government and many others around the world.
Arbor Day – Last Friday in April
April must just be an environmental month, because Arbor Day is another one you’ve probably heard of, and it’s also officially recognized in many countries. Arbor Day exists to raise awareness of the role trees play in our lives, and massive tree-planting activities take place on this day. Other countries celebrate it on different days throughout the year.
Save the Frogs Day – Last Saturday in April
Save the Frogs Day aims to bring attention to a creature most of us don’t give much thought to: frogs. Initiated by the non-profit group SAVE THE FROGS!, it has been celebrated in dozens of countries.
Bike to School Day – May 8
Part of National Bike Month, this is a day that does what it sounds like: encourages children to ride their bikes to school. It’s an initiative of the National Center for Safe Routes to School and focuses on both traffic safety and children’s well being.
Bike to Work Day – May 17
Also part of National Bike Month, this is the grown-up’s version of Bike to School Day.
This day is sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists, which promotes cycling as a means of improving well being, strengthening communities, and protecting the planet.
World Fish Migration Day – May 21 (2020)
Unlike the other observances listed here, World Fish Migration Day takes place only every other year and doesn’t have a fixed date. The next one will occur on May 21, 2020. Its goal is to raise awareness about migratory fish and their habitats, specifically about the importance of open rivers.
The UN’s International Day for Biological Diversity educates the public on issues related to biodiversity. The day takes on a different theme each year, such as biodiversity’s relationship to sustainable tourism, water, or agriculture.
World Turtle Day – May 23
Sponsored by the non-profit American Tortoise Rescue, World Turtle Day aims to increase knowledge about and respect for turtles and tortoises. Fun fact: the difference between the two is that tortoises live on land while turtles live at least partly in water.
Screen-Free Week – First Week in May
Anyone can participate in Screen-Free Week by avoiding screens like TVs, computers, and smartphones during the specified week. It primarily exists to promote children’s health and well being, but also reduces electricity consumption.
World Fair Trade Day – Second Saturday in May
World Fair Trade Day is an initiative of the World Fair Trade Organization, and it celebrates fair trade’s contribution to sustainable development. The day recognizes aspects of fair trade from gender equality to natural resource management.
World Migratory Bird Day – Second Saturday in May
The UN’s World Migratory Bird Day exists to raise awareness about conserving migratory birds and their habitats. Events like bird-watching excursions and bird festivals take place around the world on this day.
World Environment Day – June 5
The UN’s World Environment Day encourages the protection of the environment on both a local and global scale. A different country hosts World Environment Day each year, and it always has a specific theme, such as rising sea levels or the illegal wildlife trade.
World Oceans Day – June 8
World Oceans Day, coordinated by the non-profit Ocean Project, aims to honor and conserve our oceans. It encourages people to learn about the ocean and take action to protect it, and cleanup events are held around the world on this day.
The goals of the UN’s World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought are to increase awareness of efforts to combat desertification and to encourage individuals to take action themselves. The day has a new theme every year, such as sustainable agriculture or food security.
National Trails Day – First Saturday in June
The American Hiking Society established National Trails Day to promote activities like hiking and cycling and to encourage people to make use of trails. Group hikes, trail cleanups, and other events are held throughout the country on this day.
Great American Campout – Fourth Saturday in June
Founded by the National Wildlife Federation, the Great American Campout is an effort to raise awareness of the benefits of spending time in nature and to encourage people to sleep outside on one designated night. It’s part of National Outdoors Month, which lasts for the entirety of June.
World Population Day – July 11
The UN’s World Population Day exists to bring attention to urgent population issues and the importance of family planning. The day was established in recognition of the world’s population reaching 5 billion, and it focuses on a different theme each year.
International Youth Day – August 12
The UN’s International Youth Day is a celebration of young people’s role in creating change and an effort to raise awareness of issues they face. Each year, it emphasizes a specific theme like safe spaces, mental health, or peace.
International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer – September 16
The UN’s International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer commemorates the signing of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, a treaty on protecting the ozone. The UN encourages member states to use this day to organize activities that support the Protocol.
International Day of Peace – September 21
The UN’s International Day of Peace is a day for everyone to commit to putting the shared goal of peace above their differences. Each year, the day focuses on a different theme, such as peace education or partnerships for peace.
International Coastal Cleanup – Third Saturday in September
The non-profit Ocean Conservancy coordinates the annual International Coastal Cleanup, with cleanup events taking place on coastlines, riverbanks, and lakeshores around the world. This event began in Texas and has since spread to over 100 countries.
Clean Up the World Weekend – Third Weekend in September
Clean Up the World unites businesses, governments, and community groups around the world in addressing their local environments. Events held on this weekend include cleanups, tree-planting, and recycling initiatives.
October is International Walk to School Month, coordinated by the British non-profit Living Streets. This is a month of activities to encourage children to walk to school and improve traffic safety.
World Day for Farmed Animals – October 2
The World Day for Farmed Animals is an initiative of the non-profit Farm Animal Rights Movement, an organization that works to end meat eating. This day was created to mourn the animals that are slaughtered for food and to encourage people to eat vegan for one specified day.
World Animal Day – October 4
World Animal Day, established by the non-profit Naturewatch Foundation, exists to raise the status of animals and improve animal welfare around the world. Activities taking place on this day include pet adoption events, spay and neuter marathons, and animal vaccination clinics.
National Solar Tour – October 6-7
During the National Solar Tour, solar-powered buildings throughout the U.S. hold open houses and tours. This includes homes, businesses, schools, places of worship, government buildings, and more.
World Food Day – October 16
The UN’s World Food Day promotes the second Sustainable Development Goal, to end all forms of hunger and malnutrition by 2030. The day encourages people to avoid wasting food and make sustainable diet choices, and the Food and Agriculture Organization holds an official ceremony.
World Habitat Day – First Monday in October
The UN’s World Habitat Day was created to recognize the right to adequate shelter, and it’s also an opportunity for everyone to reflect on the state and future of our communities. Each year’s observance takes on a specific topic, such as solid waste management or public spaces.
Walk to School Day – First Wednesday in October
The purpose of this day is exactly as it sounds: to encourage children to walk to school. Walk to School Day has the multi-faceted goals of improving children’s health and well being, promoting traffic safety, and protecting the planet.
World Migratory Bird Day – Second Saturday in October
World Migratory Bird Day doesn’t just come once a year! This is its second observance, the first taking place in May.
World Vegan Month, an initiative of the non-profit Vegan Society, celebrates the successes of the vegan movement and aims to promote the vegan lifestyle. It encourages people to take the Vegan Pledge and avoid consuming animal products for the month of November.
America Recycles Day – November 15
The non-profit Keep America Beautiful sponsors America Recycles Day in an effort to increase recycling. It encourages people to pledge not only to recycle more, but also to produce less waste and choose to buy items made from recycled materials.
Buy Nothing Day – The day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday)
Buy Nothing Day is an anti-consumerist campaign encouraging people to avoid buying anything for one specified day and to reduce their consumption year-round. Outside the U.S., it is celebrated the day after Black Friday.
International Volunteer Day – December 5
The UN’s International Volunteer Day has the dual goals of mobilizing volunteers and celebrating volunteer efforts. Each year, the day focuses on a different theme, such as youth volunteers or first responders.
Human Rights Day – December 10
The UN’s Human Rights Day commemorates the 1948 adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Each year focuses on a different theme, such as technology and human rights or participation in public life.
International Mountain Day – December 11
The UN’s International Mountain Day recognizes the unique challenges faced by people in the mountains and the resources mountains provide to the entire world. The day focuses on a different theme each year, such as mountain minority populations or mountain farming.