Why is Earth Week Important?

By Emily S. RSS Mon, April 19, 2021

It’s easy to get blasé about Earth Day amidst the many other real concerns we face each day.

But caring for the planet we live on was still a radical idea in the United States when the first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970. People in Philadelphia and across the country awakened to the danger of pollution that was damaging our home—its water, land, and air. They gathered together to demand change, like the environmental protections we have now.

The challenge that entered mainstream awareness in 1970 continues today. Earth Week is an opportunity to learn together, and a great time to talk to children and teens about the health of the planet and how they can help protect our home for future generations.

Here are a few ways to celebrate Earth Week, April 16-22, with the whole family.

multiple hands creating the shape of a heart in front of a nature landscape

A New Virtual Challenge
Join Earth Day Celebration, a new, virtual mini-challenge running April 19 - May 16, and be a part of Earth Day’s billion acts of green!

In this virtual program, you can learn more about our planet and explore ways you can help the environment. Whether you want to focus on daily personal routines, build the health and sustainability of your neighborhood, or take part in global actions, this program has something for you! Sign up for the Online Spring Reading Challenge.

multiple hands creating the shape of a heart in front of a nature landscape

Enjoy Urban Green Space
Reconnect with the earth around you by going on a walk, an outdoor playdate, or a picnic in the grass. Play I-Spy or see how many different trees, flowers, or creatures you can spot or name.  Find nearby green space with the Parks and Recreation Finder. To make a difference locally, join the tradition of yearly clean-up with Love Your Park.

book cover

Read and Explore
Learn about the Earth and its inhabitants with your youngest learners while they gain early literacy skills! Try some of these fun and simple animal-themed activities for babies and toddlers from Read, Baby, Read. Check out these Earth Day and Earth Week Picture Books for kids. Explore your world with this list of Earth Week Reads for teens and adults.

book cover

Express Your Gratitude
The Earth is our home, and it gives us life. Make a list of your favorite things about living on this planet with kids, teens, a partner, or on your own. Spring flowers, sunshine, a shady place to lie beneath a tree, a favorite fruit, an animal friend, gravity, the atmosphere, the moon—what are you thankful for?

Browse through some of these Earth Day-friendly titles in our catalog, check out a book (or save a tree and download an ebook), and enjoy some spring weather today!

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