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The Ultimate List of Eco-Friendly & Environmental Holidays [A Guide to Green Holidays]

The Ultimate List of Eco-Friendly & Environmental Holidays [A Guide to Green Holidays]

Aug 24th 2022

Most of us already know Earth Day. But, you don’t have to wait until April 22nd to celebrate an eco-friendly holiday! In 1970, senator Gaylord Nelson created Earth Day to impose environmental regulations issues on the national agenda, which led to the foundation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Since then, organizations like the United Nations Environment Programme and International Dark-Sky Association, and activists like Anwar Fazal, have created several “green” holidays to share the importance of sustainability, environmental commitment, and appreciation for this beautiful planet of ours.

If you’d like to extend your earth-conscious celebrations and be part of the change, here are 65 eco-friendly holidays from around the world.

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65 Celebratory Environmental Holidays

January

1. Green New Year's Resolution - January 1

2. National Electricity Day - January 9

3. International Zebra Day - January 31

February

4. World Wetlands Day - February 2

5. World Bonobo Day - February 14

6. World Hippopotamus Day - February 15

7. International Polar Bear Day - February 27

March

8. World Wildlife Day - March 3

9. International Day of Action for Rivers - March 14

10. World Consumer Rights Day - March 15

11. Global Recycling Day - March 18

12. World Sparrow Day - March 20

13. International Day of Forests - March 21

14. World Water Day - March 22

15. World Meteorological Day - March 23

16. Earth Hour - Last Saturday of March

April

17. World Aquatic Animal Day - April 3

18. National Park Week - April 19th-27th

19. Dark Sky Week - April 20th-26th

20. Earth Day - April 22

21. National Arbor Day - April's last Friday

May

22. Green Up Day in Vermont - May's first Saturday

23. International Migratory Bird Day in the U.S. and Canada - May's second Saturday

24. Bike-to-Work Day - May's third Friday

25. Greenery Day in Japan - May 4

26. World Bee Day - May 20

27. International Day for Biological Diversity- May 22

28. European Day of Parks - May 24

29. World No Tobacco Day - May 31

June

30. National Trails Day - June's first Saturday

31. World Environment Day - June 5

32. World Oceans Day - June 8

33. Coral Triangle Day - June 9

34. Global Wind Day - June 15

35. World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought - June 17

36. World Rainforest Day - June 22

July

37. National Clean Beaches Week - July 1st-7th

38. World Population Day - July 11

39. World Nature Conservation Day - July 28

40. International Tiger Day - July 29

August

41. Mountain Day - August 11

42. World Elephant Day - August 12

43. National Honey Bee Day - August 21

September

44. National Wildlife Day - September 4

45. International Day of Clean Air - September 7

46. International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer - September 16

47. National Cleanup Day - September 19

48. Clean Up the World Weekend - September's third weekend

49. Zero Emissions Day - September 21

50. European Mobility Week - September 16th-22nd

51. World Car Free Day - September 22

52. National Public Lands Day - September 26

53. National Crush Day - September 27

54. World Rivers Day - September's last Sunday

October

55. World Habitat Day - October's first Monday

56. World Vegetarian Day - October 1

57. World Animal Day - October 4

58. International ShakeOut Day - October's Third Thursday

59. World Planting Day - October 22

60. International Day of Climate Action - October 24

November

61. World Vegan Day - November 1

62. International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict - November 6

63. National Recycling Day - November 15

64. National Hiking Day - November 17

December

65. World Soil Day - December 5

66. International Mountain Day - December 11 (a little bonus for you!)

Make The Most Of Environmental Holidays

The United Nations or other non-profit organizations established most earth-focused “holidays” to raise awareness of issues.

If you are reading this from the lens of an eco-focused business, these holidays represent excellent opportunities to (1) talk about issues that you are passionate about and that your business is helping to address; and (2), in turn, support your business’s marketing efforts.

If you are reading this from the lens of a non-profit, these holidays are perfect days to educate the public about issues - some of which are relatively obscure. Most people don’t understand the importance of soil, but showcasing the difference between dead versus healthy soil on December 5th (World Soil Day) can help. Couple this with tips people can take to improve soil health themselves, and you’ve leveraged this holiday for precisely what it intended to achieve!

If you are an interested citizen, these holidays are great days to talk to friends about issues or engage in relevant activities. For example, maybe World Soil Day is the right day to sign up for your curbside compost program or start your home compost bin.

Eco-Friendly Tips For Celebrating The Holidays

You now have a calendar full of environmental holidays to excite you. Now its time to bring the spirit of environmental holidays to ALL holidays! We all recognize that stretch from Thanksgiving to Christmas as “THE” holiday season. Unfortunately, that particular mega holiday season is not typically the most eco-friendly. This time of year generates the most waste and creates the most emissions.

So, every step we take to decrease the environmental footprint of the season is a win for the planet. With the big season just around the corner, our experts have gathered the best tips to celebrate a sustainable, eco-friendly holiday season - whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or even Festivus.

You can apply these tips any time of year (and click here for tips to running sustainable events all year long). Remember that every change, small or big, can make a big difference for our environment.

Make This Gift Season More Sustainable

Gifts are fantastic, but there's no doubt they can become a huge source of waste, " considering that 60% of Americans already get gifts they don't want". Here are nine ways to make your gifts eco-friendly:

Source Eco-Friendly Products:

Consider the materials, usability, and longevity of each gift you purchase. Here's a list of sustainable gift ideas organized by interests.

Purchase Your Gifts Online:

Online shopping will reduce your carbon footprint as you don't have to drive all over town to find the perfect gift. However, it requires delivery, which isn't always the greenest choice. How do you make online shopping greener? Look for companies offering sustainable packaging.

Avoid Expedited & Overnight Shipping:

We are amazed by the logistical achievement of overnight shipping, but is the impact of a whole truck burning fuel to deliver a pair of socks worth it? We think not. A crucial step towards healthier cities is to take as many vehicles off the road as possible, and expedited shipping is a step backward in terms of your carbon footprint.

Shop online for green holidays

Window Shop Online & Buy Local:

Reduce your carbon emissions while still buying local by Google to find stores near you. Then, pick one or two stores with delivery services. You’ll reduce emissions by avoiding long-distance deliveries and your carbon footprint by window shopping online.

Make Handcrafted DIY Gifts:

Handmade gifts are eco-friendly and personal. Choose natural materials like wood, paper, or recycled fabric.

Give Recycled & Repurposed Gifts:

We are amazed by the logistical achievement of overnight shipping, but is the impact of a whole truck burning fuel to deliver a pair of socks worth it? We think not. A crucial step towards healthier cities is to take as many vehicles off the road as possible, and expedited shipping is a step backward in terms of your carbon footprint.

Handmade makes for Eco-friendly Holidays

Use Recycled Paper for Wrapping Gifts:

Using recycled wrapping paper is cost-effective and reduces paper waste. Here's a guide to making a special package to inspire you.

Send Digital Gift Cards:

Sending digital gift cards is a great way to reduce carbon emissions, and your loved ones will be able to buy something they genuinely want online. A good practice is to send a gift card that supports an environment-friendly company.

Opt for Gift Experiences:

Experiences are the perfect eco-friendly holiday gift. You can give experiences like baseball tickets, a short trip, or cooking lessons. Here's a list of 11 experiential gift ideas.

Choose Green Holiday Décor

According to the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), "Between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, the amount of trash produced in the United States increases by an estimated 25%—that's about one million extra tons of garbage each week." And a big part of all that waste is produced by holiday décor.

Being more strategic about decorating your house is the perfect next step to a more sustainable holiday season. These are our six green holiday decoration suggestions for you:

Switch to LED & Solar Lights:

LED lights are 90% more efficient than traditional holiday lights, and solar-powered ones don’t require energy. So using these kinds of lights is a more cost-effective and greener choice.

Use Timers for Your Lights:

Timers will give you peace of mind and lower your holiday lights' power consumption during the day.

Opt for Beeswax or Organic Candles:

Another source of light is organic candles. They look good and can provide a warm, cozy ambiance during cold winter evenings.

Natural decorations for eco-friendly holiday décor

Use Natural Decorations:

Decorate with real plants, and stay away from plastics that you will throw away at the end of the year.

Make Your Centerpieces From Recycled Materials:

Skip new tabletop décor every season. Recycled paper, glass jars, fabrics, and ribbons are excellent décor materials. Light bulbs are exceptional for making decorations as well - upcycle used bulbs by filling them with water, hanging them upside down on a wall, and filling them with plants.

Buy a Potted Christmas Tree:

Potted Christmas trees need less space and are more durable than fully grown Christmas trees, and after the holiday, you can plant it in your backyard. You’ll contribute to reforestation and can watch your holiday tree grow for years.

Celebrate The Holidays At Home

Although celebrating the holidays with friends and family under one roof can drastically decrease waste and energy consumption, we must be conscious of the current pandemic. Green holidays don’t have to be lonely. Here are three ideas to enjoy a healthy holiday with your family without letting your friends and loved ones out:

Organize an Online Toast:

Send an invitation to your family and friends through Google Calendar so they can confirm directly in the invitation. Then, schedule it after dinner so you can all hang out after the toast.

Have an Online Gift Exchange Party:

Gift exchanges are a tradition, and COVID won’t change that. If you already sent your gifts, schedule a time for everyone to connect and open them together.

Make Time to Connect with Loved Ones:

The holidays are a busy time, so ensure to plan ahead to speak with those you love whether it be over the phone or video call. A Skype session while you're decorating the tree, or sending photos while doing some holiday baking are examples of activities that help everyone feel more connected even though you may be far apart.

Decrease Food-Related Waste

Food is an essential part of the holidays. Yet, 74 million mince pies are thrown away every Christmas, and we are not even counting turkey and bread. To have a more eco-friendly holiday, the best thing we can do is to be more conscious about how we manage our food waste this year by following these three rules:

Purchase Only What You Will Eat:

Be mindful of who is coming to dinner and how much food you will need for each guest. It's a little more planning, but the planet will thank you. Ensure the food you do buy is local and organic when possible. You will notice the difference in flavor immediately, and it’s better for your family and the planet

Don't Use Disposable Dishes:

Using ceramic dishes for your holiday meal will drastically reduce trash production.

Use Up or Donate Your Leftovers:

Leftovers are a significant source of food waste every year, and the number only goes up during the holiday season. So if you’re not consuming them, consider donating your leftovers to those in need.

Family time at the holidays

If you make more earth-conscious decisions this season, you'll enjoy a greener, healthier holiday while showing family and friends that eco-friendly practices are essential throughout the year.

Happy holidays!

Additional Resources

How to Recycle: Tips to Get Started

Recycling is absolutely critical, as is knowing how to recycle correctly. Learn the correct steps to take to ensure you are recycling efficiently.

Guide to Recycling During the Holidays

Find answers some of the most common holiday recycling FAQs and tips on how to responsibly buy and recycle many of the holiday basics.

EcoEnclose Resource Center

Explore our sustainable packaging guides to help you choose the right packaging solution for your shipments.