By Allie Wisniewski, American Forests
With Earth Day and Arbor Day in the rearview mirror and another special day right around the corner, we wanted to highlight six environmental holidays that don’t always get much attention. While holidays can be fun reminders of important causes, remember that every day is a good day to celebrate and protect our planet!
National Endangered Species Day
Including both animals and plants, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service lists 4,090 threatened and endangered species in the U.S., of which 1,838 are endangered. Concerned? We are too! That’s all the more reason to observe National Endangered Species Day, which is the third Friday in May — tomorrow, May 19! — and was established to promote the importance of conserving incredible wildlife diversity.
World Biodiversity Day — May 22
Speaking of diversity, World Biodiversity Day also celebrates the beautiful variety of living things that inhabit the earth. Unfortunately, biodiversity loss has become a major challenge for natural ecosystems, largely due to human-caused habitat destruction, overharvesting and climate change. It was first recognized in 2000 by the UN General Assembly to raise awareness for these increasingly pressing issues.
World Environment Day — June 5
World Environment Day’s inaugural celebration in 1972 left behind an annual legacy of environmental awareness. This year’s host country, Canada, got to choose the theme: Connecting People to Nature. Want to get involved? Get outside and demonstrate that you’re #WithNature.
International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer — September 16
While it’s certainly a mouthful, this holiday is one of the most essential on this list. It commemorates the signing of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer in 1987, and to this day encourages global efforts to acknowledge and prevent climate change.
America Recycles Day — November 15
The current recycling rate is 34 percent, but we can do better than that! This November, pledge to reduce your waste, learn what recycled materials are collected in your community and, of course, spread the word!