Earth Day is Thursday, April 22. This year offers a great mix of in-person and virtual options for observing the day, along with some idea-starters for Arizona families seeking to embrace new, earth-friendly habits.
Earth Day Cleanup Week
Pick up litter anywhere in your neighborhood, nearby park of trail. Download the Litterati App. Open it and swipe to “challenges.” Enter the code “RIO EARTH” and snap photos while you’re picking up litter anytime during week of April 17-24.
OdySea Aquarium is hosting a Virtual Earth Day Cleanup Thursday through Sunday. Collect trash anywhere you like. OdySea will giving away prizes to those who post photos of their efforts! Visit the aquarium’s event page for details, tips, prizes and special animal appearances!
Learn about electric cars
The Phoenix Electric Auto Association will display some of the electric vehicles available in Arizona, from the Chevy EV to Tesla. Already have an electric vehicle? Take advantage of the library’s two public chargers. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Avondale Public Library, 11350 W. Civic Center Drive in Avondale. Learn more.
Start a seed
At the i.d.e.a. Museum, a special upcycle challenge for visitors is planned on Earth Day. Guests can participate in a “Seed Starter” activity while supplies last. 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Purchase advance timed-admission tickets. 150 W. Pepper Place, Mesa. ideamuseum.org
Clean up the Salt River
RIO Earth Day Salt River Cleanup is Saturday, April 24 on the west side of 91st Avenue at the Salt River. Volunteers must be at least 14 years old and anyone 14-18 must be supervised by an adults. Shifts run 9-11:30 a.m. and 1-3:30 p.m. Sign up here.
Tempe Town Lake Trashtag Cleanup
Join the Veterans and Patriots of Valors Veterans Community for their monthly trashtag cleanup at Tempe Town Lake. You’ll pick up drink bottles, fast food containers, and sometimes a few, shall we say, more “interesting” items. Bring your own work gloves and your own drinking water (preferably in a reusable container). Bags are provided and some trash sticks/grabbers will be available. 7-9 a.m. Saturday, April 24 at Tempe Beach Park’s north shore, south of Mill and the Loop 202. Learn more.
Arizona Students Recycling Used Technology (AZ StRUT) wants to collect 1,000 used computers, cell phones and tablets to refurbish. The April 22 drive-through event is family-friendly and fun, featuring Earth Day prizes and raffle items for donors. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 1720 West Broadway, Mesa.
ACE Recycling, an electronic recycling and repair facility located in Tolleson, is open for drop-offs 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday at River Crossing Self Storage and RV, 12100 W. Van Buren, Avondale. All data on hard drives received is erased according to industry standards. Computers are evaluated for potential refurbishing/reusing before designated for recycling.
Set a worm composting bin
RAK contributor Sophie Strosberg created a lot of interest last year with her story, “What’s more fun than a bin full of worms?” Find out how you can get started.
Read books about the environment
RAK contributor Debra Citron’s article explores “Six decades of excellent Earth Day books for kids.”
Watch eco-friendly family movies
Have a family movie night featuring some environment-focused films. Here’s a list from CommonSense Media.
The Phoenix Zoo is celebrating Earth Day: Party for the Planet during a virtual event from 6-7 p.m. April 22.
Earthday.org will host its second Earth Day Live event at 9 a.m. Arizona time. World climate leaders, grassroots activists, nonprofit innovators, thought leaders, industry leaders, artists, musicians, influencers, and the leaders of tomorrow will be offering insights and strategies designed to push us toward a better world.
Mesa is supporting Earth Day and Arbor Day (April 30) by offering more than 50 fun, easy, and locally relevant tips on at mesaaz.gov/sustainability. Find information about Mesa’s composting program, seed library, incentives for grass removal, great water-saving ideas, activities for kids, and more, plus tips on tree selection, planting and care.
PBS KIDS has a resource hub devoted to helping parents and caregivers introduce their little ones to nature and show them the importance of protecting the environment. Find lots of easy-to-understand lessons and fun activities: