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Earth Month Facts and Tips!

It's finally Earth Month! Now even though every day should be treated like it's Earth Day, how can we truly celebrate it this month? Well the first and most important way to honor Earth Month, is to understand its history. Here we have twelve cool facts about the history of Earth Month and then we'll get into some more tips on a how to create a more eco-friendly lifestyle!

  1. Earth Day was established in the USA, but it is now a globally observed holiday!

  2. After a hugely destructive and tragic oil spill in Santa Barbara, California in 1969, a team of climate activists established April as “Earth Month.”

  3. Former senator of Wisconsin, Gaylor Nelson, initiated the idea of capturing anti-war energy amidst the Vietnam War and channeling that energy into the environmental movement, thus establishing the idea of “Earth Day” in 1970.

  4. The first Earth Day was on April 22, 1970. Senator Nelson selected this date because it fell on most college and university spring breaks. The reason for this was to inspire stewardship among younger communities because the future of the earth is in the hands of young folks!

  5. Earth Day emerged from a national phenomenon to a global phenomenon in 1990.

  6. Earth Day has its own theme song: Earth Anthem, written by Native American poet, Abhay Kumar, in 2013.

  7. Earth Day helped create federal agencies like the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), along with the passing of many bills to help mitigate the impacts of climate change (Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, and more!)

  8. The Paris Agreement was signed on Earth Day in 2016!

  9. Today, over 90% of elementary and secondary schools in the USA observe Earth Day.

  10. In 2012 on Earth Day, more than 100,000 people in China rode bikes to work and school to curb CO2 emissions.

  11. Earth Day is for everyone! We all live on planet earth. Though targeted at younger audiences, no matter who you are and what sustainable actions you take to honor this time, people of all identities are encouraged to celebrate!

  12. There is a new theme for Earth Month each year. The theme of this year’s Earth Day and Earth Month is “Invest in our Planet,” which is intended to establish a “partnership for the planet,” holding all entities–be it corporate, governmental, or civil—accountable for taking action against climate change. All entities, big or small, are responsible in a collective effort to maintain the health of the earth for future generations.

Now that you know a little bit more about the history, we can get into how YOU can honor Earth Month this month and every month!

1. Watch an earth-related documentary or docuseries!

Provoke your thoughts and bring climate change issues to the forefront of your brain! There are numerous films that highlight extremely different subject matter– from microplastics to the anthropocene to regenerative farming practices and so much more. A few of my favorites are Uma Thurman’s series, The Age of Nature (2020), David Attenborough’s series, A Life on Our Planet (2021), Davis Guggenheim’s An Inconvenient Truth (2006), Al Gore’s riveting sequel to An Inconvenient Truth— An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (2017), Anthropocene: the Human Epoch (2018), Chasing Coral (2017), The Biggest Little Farm (2018), and My Octopus Teacher (2020).

2. Volunteer to clean up your community!

At the Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation and beyond, there are ample volunteer opportunities to help keep our open-spaces clean.

Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful has an exciting Earth Month Great Community Clean-up coming up on April 29, 2023! This year’s Great Community Clean-up has several new site locations, including a few more illegal dumpsites that desire your attention. Click here to learn more and get involved!

If you’re a dog lover and a steward of the outdoors and open spaces, become a volunteer with the Doggie Ambassador program! This program is volunteer-based and promotes responsible dog-ownership in open-spaces by inspiring stewardship, specifically Leave-No-Trace ethics, to other dog owners.

Every year on Martin Luther King Jr’s Birthday, TMPF hosts a Bioblitz day-of-service event. This past year, we cleaned up the wetland at the Rosewood Nature Study Area. Stay tuned for next year’s MLK day-of-service announcement!

3. Drive Earth Smart!

In the Truckee Meadows, public transportation is unfortunately inaccessible and the Reno area is not very walkable. Though driving electric and hybrid vehicles are frequently advertised as more efficient, you definitely don’t need to drive an electric or hybrid vehicle to practice eco-friendly driving. Here are some things you can do on the road to minimize your vehicle’s impact on the planet when you can’t walk, get on a bus, or ride your bike:

  • This one may seem a bit obvious, but taking the shortest route to your destination whenever possible is fuel efficient. Consider combining your errands into one trip.

  • Check and replace your air filter when needed. Replacing a clogged or dirty air filter can improve your car’s gas mileage by as much as 10 percent, according to the Department of Energy, and it keeps impurities from damaging the inside of the car engine and is better for the air outside.

  • Speeding or aggressive driving can actually cost you up to 30% more in gas when taking a highway. Maintaining a safe distance between your vehicle and other vehicles on the road can keep you safe and improve your fuel efficiency. Activate cruise control if you have it. This helps you maintain a consistent pace. As fluctuations in speed can also decrease fuel efficiency.

  • Properly inflate your tires. Many drivers are shocked that improper tire pressure can impact your emissions. Under-inflating your tires impacts your mileage and over-inflating your tires prematurely wears out your tires, creating waste. The proper PSI for your tires can usually be found on a sticker inside the driver’s door of your vehicle or in the user manual.

  • Remove unnecessary weight. Did you know driving around with extra cargo can have a negative effect on your fuel efficiency and the wear and tear on your vehicle? When possible, avoid weighing your car down with things on the roof.

Corporate and government entities are heavily responsible for climate change. However, we as individuals can raise advocacy and awareness in our community about how to be good stewards and take care of the breathtaking planet we live on. PSA: you don’t need to go completely zero-waste or drive an electric vehicle to practice sustainability in your everyday life, there are lots of little ways to create an earth friendly lifestyle - and to start today!


About the Author:

Caroline earned a Bachelor's degree from the American University School of International Service in Washington, DC where she studied Environmental Sustainability and Global Health with minors in French and Art History. She grew up recreating outdoors in the northeast, but is passionate about preserving access to the outdoors everywhere. She relocated to the Reno-Tahoe area after leaving DC in May 2022 where she worked on preserving access to the near 200-mile Tahoe Rim Trail system for 6 months. In her free time, she enjoys art, running, and the sunshine!


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