On the first Earth Day — April 22, 1970 — 20 million people demonstrated on behalf of the planet. Today an astounding 1 billion people in 174 countries celebrate the day — making it the largest secular holiday in the world. And although the planet is 4.5 billion years old, the reasons for upholding Earth Day's principles have never been more compelling. Whether you attend a festival, pick up trash in your neighborhood, or become an activist, these events and ideas will help you extend goodwill to the Earth throughout the year.

april 18-20

Green Apple Festival
More than 500,000 people will spread the love-thy-Earth message during carbon-neutral celebrations held in cities such as New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. greenapplefestival.com

april 19-20

Kokua Festival
Founded by musician Jack Johnson and his wife to benefit their Kokua Hawaii Foundation, which supports eco-education in Hawaii. Willie Nelson and Eddie Vedder have also performed at this Oahu gathering. kokuahawaiifoundation.org

may — september

Green Festivals
Sustainable businesses and environmental leaders explore a common cause: building a viable green economy. Seattle (April 12-13), Chicago (May 17-18), Washington, D.C. (Nov. 8-9), San Francisco (Nov. 14-16)greenfestivals.org

may 10-17

31st Annual International
Wildlife Film Festival

More than 10,000 cinephiles will migrate to Missoula, Montana, to view nature films from around the world and attend seminars on filmmaking and conservation. wildlifefilms.org

DID YOU KNOW?

Earth Day's founder, Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wisconsin), was also responsible for legislation to preserve the Appalachian Trail, mandate fuel efficiency in cars, and ban DDT.

Earth — the Old English and Germanic word for “ground” — is the only planet that is not named after characters in Greco-Roman mythology.

Immanuel Kant, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, Peter Frampton, and Jack Nicholson were all born on April 22.

Make a difference

  • UP YOUR FUEL ECONOMY

    The snow is gone, so why are you still driving around with a ski rack? Reducing air drag by taking off removable car racks can improve fuel economy by 5 percent. Also, save gas by not lugging unneeded cargo.

  • RECYCLE ELECTRONICS

    Less than 20 percent of the 100-130 million unwanted cell phones get recycled when their owners buy shiny new ones. Save energy, recover valuable materials, and reduce the amount of heavy metals that leach out of landfills by recycling old mobiles at these retail stores: AT&T Wireless, Best Buy, LG Electronics, Office Depot, Sony Ericsson, Sprint, Staples, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless.

  • FIX LEAKS

    All those drips add up. A leaky faucet dripping once per second can squander more than 3,000 gallons of water per year, while a leaky toilet can flush away a whopping 200 gallons per day. To check a toilet, place a small amount of food coloring in the tank — you have a leak if without flushing the water in the bowl changes color.

To find an event near you, visit earthday.net.

SHARE YOUR INSPIRATION

What is your family doing to live in a more planet-conscious way? Tell us how you make every day Earth Day by sending an email to deliciousliving@newhope.com.