Keen to celebrate Earth Day? 5 simple ways you can inspire change and build a better tomorrow

Living sustainably doesn't need to feel unattainable or overwhelming.

Earth Day 2024
(Image credit: Getty Images)

In previous years, Earth Day has been marked by street protests, litter cleanups, and mass tree planting, with themes centring around investment and carbon footprint. This year, the theme is a little different.

That's right - the theme of Earth Day 2024 is "Planet vs. Plastics," a move the charity shares is to encourage the "end [of plastic use] for the sake of human and planetary health." This year, they're making a call to action, too, demanding a 60% reduction in the production of all plastics by 2040.

As the latest IPCC report highlighted last year, it's absolutely crucial that we all take action before it's too late. Bottom line: protecting our planet is the only way to ensure we survive. 

Wondering how? That's what Earth Day is all about - sharing tips for sustainable living that don't feel overwhelming or unattainable. As the website says: "This is the moment to change it all — the business climate, the political climate, and how we take action on climate. Now is the time for the unstoppable courage to preserve and protect our health, our families, our livelihoods… together, we must Invest In Our Planet."

Earth Day was created on April 22, 1970, when 20 million people took to the streets in the United States to protest environmental neglect. Since then, every year, the day marks a celebration of an international environmental movement. This year marks the 53rd anniversary of Earth Day.

While the Earth Day 2024 toolkit will come in handy, we hope the below tips will help you on your journey, too. Don't miss our guides to the best B Corp brands, Gen Z climate activists, and environmental documentaries, while you're here. 

Earth Day 2024: your guide

We all know that a green future is the way forwards, but to have a chance at that, we need to make some serious changes.

While the Earth Day collective are asking you to get involved this year, their main focus is encouraging businesses and governments to do their bit, too. As the charity website states, "Unless businesses act now, climate change will ever more deeply damage economies, increase scarcity, drain profits and job prospects, and impact us all."

That's where you come in - because, using the power of people, they hope to promote positive change. How can you help? Write to your local politician, ask businesses to do better, and buy B Corp brands, where possible. As Thomas Edison said, “There’s a way to do it better — find it.”

Make your voice heard - and then speak a little louder. "At a rally, a cleanup, with your vote, or your wallet, be heard however you are able. For all of us – today and for our future – let’s INVEST IN OUR PLANET!," rally the site.

5 ways you can help this Earth Day

1. Use your voice

As above, one of the main ways we're being asked to do our bit this year is by speaking out about the global crisis and starting conversations with those who might not understand the magnitude of the situation.

Never forget the impact your voice can have. Stuck for ideas? Take action by sharing what you’re doing and from where you are on Earth Day itself - and don't forget to use the hashtag #EarthDay2024.

2. Educate others on greenwashing

Not sure what greenwashing actually is? Our guide will explain, but it's essentially a business saying it's doing good, rather than doing good. 

Identifying which corporations these are - and lobbying them to do better - is a key theme for this year and a simple way you can help from home.

Not just that, but it's important to educate yourself on the issues surrounding sustainability, too. The richest 10% of the global population are responsible for 52% of greenhouse gas emissions, yet those in underdeveloped countries are already bearing the brunt of the climate disaster. Intersectional environmentalism is a pressing issue that must be addressed - and soon.

3. Test your environmental knowledge

Because knowledge is power, after all. For Earth Day 2024, why not dive a little deeper into your environmental knowledge and see how much you know about the world's greatest threat?

Getting educated on environmental issues is one of the most important things that we can do, as it keeps us informed and will also help us convince others who might be sceptical about the pressing need for climate action.

Test your knowledge using Earth Day’s official digital quiz here or watch an environmental documentary.

4. Vote Earth and ask three friends to do the same

Another way to help? By supporting Vote Earth.

The initiative encourages you to show your concern for the planet by demanding change at the polls. All you have to do is pledge to take a vote for environmental progress, and challenge three of your friends to do the same to keep the momentum going.

Plus, you'll get an email reminder to vote if you check "send me email updates". More information here.

5. Share on social media

And finally, share your stance far and wide - by posting on your social channels, you're making sure that people all over the world have the chance to see your thoughts. Every little helps, after all.

As above, sharing your content with the hashtag #EarthDay2024 is a good way to show your support.

Ally Head
Senior Health, Sustainability and Relationships Editor

Ally Head is Marie Claire UK's Senior Health, Sustainability, and Relationships Editor, nine-time marathoner, and Boston Qualifying runner. Day-to-day, she works across site strategy, features, and e-commerce, reporting on the latest health updates, writing the must-read health and wellness content, and rounding up the genuinely sustainable and squat-proof gym leggings worth *adding to basket*. She's won a BSME for her sustainability work, regularly hosts panels and presents for events like the Sustainability Awards, and saw nine million total impressions on the January 2023 Wellness Issue she oversaw. Follow Ally on Instagram for more or get in touch.