Mother and children laughing at something on laptop

Earth Day is a celebration of our planet and all it provides. Everyone is encouraged to spend the day prioritizing sustainability and showing an appreciation for the Earth. You can accomplish this in a variety of ways, including physical work to support the environment, like picking up trash or planting trees. But if you’re more comfortable staying home this year, we’ve rounded up some activities to help you celebrate Earth Day virtually.

From virtual tours to online advocacy, here are nine ways to celebrate Earth Day from the comfort of home.

1. Explore the World

Online outlets have begun to release stunning virtual tours of natural places all over the world, utilizing high-resolution photos and videos by teams of professionals. Whether you’re exploring on your own or with little ones, you’re bound to learn new things and gain a new appreciation for parts of our planet you might never have had the chance to experience. You can even watch live feeds of stunning natural phenomena, like Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park or nesting bald eagles.

2. Search the Web

One way to instill an appreciation for the environment is to look up random facts about the planet on the internet. Learn where to recycle household materials in your city or discover how composting works. Make this activity even greener by using an eco-friendly search engine, like Ecosia, which donates its profits to tree planting projects worldwide.

3. Watch Documentaries

Pop some popcorn (preferably locally sourced), grab a blanket and hunker down for an evening in. This Earth Day, peruse the thousands of documentaries available that detail environmental topics. Consider films like I Am Greta, a profile of a young environmental activist, or Seaspiracy, a deep dive into the environmental impact of the commercial fishing industry. These documentaries, along with thousands of similar ones, are available to stream or rent on the internet. Fees may apply.

4. Upcycle

Upcycling allows you to transform an old, used material into a brand new item you can fall in love with all over again. Not only is it budget-friendly, but it’s also sustainable. By upcycling, you will keep materials out of the landfill and reduce the need for more manufacturing, which uses resources and is a practice that often relies on the burning of fossil fuels. Head to the internet and browse tutorials for upcycled crafts. Kids will love making these toilet paper roll crafts, while those over 21 may enjoy upcycling their wine bottles and corks.

5. Go Plant-Based

By reducing your meat and dairy consumption, you can shrink your carbon footprint. That’s because the industrialized meat and dairy industries burn a staggering amount of fossil fuels and are responsible for a whopping 14.5% of the world’s total human-derived greenhouse gas emissions.

Eating plant-based foods is an excellent way to avoid contributing to this environmentally unfriendly industry. There are tons of online cooking classes and recipes that will help you use fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based or vegan ingredients to make delicious meals.

6. Attend Virtual Events

Several organizations host virtual events for Earth Day in an effort to encourage anyone and everyone to show up for the planet. Virtual events are often hosted on an organization’s website or social media page. If you’d like to create your own virtual Earth Day event, you can do that too. Social media makes it easy to create an event page and invite others. Events might involve lectures from green-minded leaders, virtual film screenings, live chats, and more. Perhaps you’d like to attend EARTHDAY.ORG’s virtual events, including three climate summits and Earth Day Live.

7. Email Elected Officials

Your elected official represents you and other constituents in the area they serve, so it’s important to make your voice heard if you want something changed. Use Earth Day as an excuse to get more politically involved. Call or email your elected officials about environmental issues pressing your community. For example, email your mayor to encourage them to enhance recycling efforts. Or call your senator to ask about funding for renewable energy in your state. Those are just a few ideas. Ask a local environmental group for guidance to get started.

8. Play Games

Maybe you love games that test your knowledge, or maybe you prefer those that allow you to be creative. Either way, it’s a fun time. For Earth Day, find online games that help you learn about or simply appreciate the environment as you play. Check out these green websites and online games for kids.

9. Listen to Podcasts

Earth Day is a great day to take that nature walk you’ve been dreaming of or clean the house with eco-friendly products. So, use that time to learn about environmentalism from the experts. Browse through the archives of the Earth911 podcast, find a topic you’re interested in, and dive right in.

Feature image by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

By Lauren Murphy

Lauren has a B.S. in environmental science, a crafting addiction, and a love for all things Pacific Northwest. She writes from her cozy downtown apartment tucked in the very northwestern corner of the continental U.S. Lauren spends her time writing and focusing on a healthy, simple and sustainable lifestyle.