Environmental Holidays

Our environment looks a lot different than it did a few years, decades, and centuries ago. It’s constantly changing, too, with the introduction of new industries and products. While a constant battle wages on about what the best course of action to take is for the increasingly volatile environment, it is important to recognize that there are well over a dozen holidays up for celebration that allow us to take a moment and appreciate the amazing things the environment offers us.

Where did environmental holidays come from?

Environmental holidays started springing up in the late 1960s. Before the sixties, environmentalists weren't sure how they could raise mass public awareness for their ideals. But everything changed after a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara in 1969.

Inspired by the student protests against the Vietnam War, Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. senator from Wisconsin, realized he needed to create that same spirit of energy around the environment and if he did, he could use his power as a senator to force it on to the national agenda. So he created Earth Day (April 22) as one of the first national days that brought attention to the environment.

By the end of that year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created, and the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts were all passed. Inspired by events like these, other environmental organizers started creating their own holidays to draw attention to their special causes.

Over the course of the year, we have the opportunity to celebrate efforts behind recycling (November 15), the maintenance of public lands (September 26), and the appreciation of elephants (September 22).

Submit your favorite environmental holidays

Are we missing your favorite environmental holiday? Head to our holiday submission page and let us know! Make sure you've compiled a bit of information about your holiday before you submit. Is it celebrated widely? Does it have a track record of media coverage? Let us know about any environmental holidays we should add!