Environmental holidays and world campaigns have the power to educate and inspire us to come together for the planet. It’s all about environmental awareness and taking time to learn about and support endangered species, threatened ecosystems, and the global initiatives in place to protect them. So why not volunteer and participate in a beach clean-up this World Oceans Day? Or you could choose to calculate and remove your carbon footprint for Zero Emissions Day? Whichever environmental day you choose to celebrate and however you choose to spend it — each can deliver a refreshed sense of purpose in the fight against climate change. Keep reading for our top environmental holidays to celebrate in 2023.
From January to December, there are opportunities to take action every month of the year.
Green New Year's Resolutions
For this environmental holiday, you have the entire month of January to set a New Year’s resolution in dedication to the planet. This could be an individual solution to climate change, such as lowering your ecological carbon footprint. Alternatively, you could investigate what climate initiatives are active in your community, such as clothing swaps or recycling drives. For more inspiration, check out: Our 8 New Year’s resolutions for the climate.
International Polar Bear Day
On February 27, we celebrate the 25,000 polar bears left in the wild. To many, polar bears are the face of climate change due to their dependence on the melting ice in the Arctic. Ultimately, the best way to protect this species is to decrease the level of CO₂ in our atmosphere — i.e., the leading cause of global warming. To find out more, why not read up on nature-based and technological climate change solutions.
International Day of Forests
The International Day of Forests is celebrated on March 21. This environmental day draws attention to forests as one of the key solutions to stop global warming. Forests can absorb 2.6 billion tons of CO₂ every year, which represents one-third of the CO₂ released from burning fossil fuels annually. While this alone isn’t enough to solve climate change, natural carbon sinks must be protected so they can help us restore a healthy balance of CO₂ in our atmosphere.
Earth Day falls on April 22 and marks the anniversary of the start of the modern environmental movement in 1970. This environmental holiday was launched in response to Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring,” published in 1962, which raised awareness of the negative impacts of chemicals on the natural environment. Earth Day is celebrated to encourage climate action, from small steps like using reusable utensils and bags, to bigger projects like advocating for global warming preventative measures.
International Day for Biodiversity
On May 22, we celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity. Biodiversity is essential for the stability of the planet, not to mention that ecosystems provide us with fresh water, food, and even medicine. For this environmental day, why not take a hike and appreciate your local biodiversity? Fun fact: Butterflies are highly reactive to their environments, so their populations can be used to indicate areas that are struggling.
World Oceans Day
On June 8, World Oceans Day raises awareness of the importance of our ocean and marine ecosystems. Did you know that the ocean produces at least 50% of the planet’s oxygen? And that it’s absorbed around a third of the CO₂ we’ve produced since the Industrial Revolution? The ocean is one of our most important natural carbon sinks, but as levels of CO₂ in our atmosphere increase, they’re becoming acidic. This affects the biodiversity and productivity of marine ecosystems, not to mention other issues like oil spills or overfishing.
International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem
UNESCO has designated July 26 as the International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem. Mangroves protect coastlines from erosion, provide nursery habitats for fish, and store large amounts of carbon dioxide. However, despite the many advantages that healthy mangrove ecosystems bring, more than two-thirds of the world’s mangroves have been lost or degraded. On this environmental day, UNESCO seeks to educate the public about mangroves and the need for conservation.
World Elephant Day
On August 12, we celebrate the international environmental day dedicated to elephants. Did you know that African forest elephants stimulate carbon capture in their environments by dispersing vital nutrients? Each forest elephant can stimulate a net increase in carbon capture of 9,500 metric tons of CO₂ per sq km of rainforest. That’s similar to the emissions from driving approx. 2,000 petrol cars for a year!
Zero Emissions Day
On September 21, Zero Emissions Day highlights the harm caused by CO₂ emissions and tries to give the world a one-day break from fossil fuels. For this environmental day in 2023, it’s more important than ever that we reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and remove our historic and unavoidable emissions from the air. Of course, this is one of the most important environmental days of the year for Climeworks. With our service, you can permanently remove your CO₂ emissions for Zero Emissions Day or reduce them year-round.
Energy Efficiency Day
Ideally, we should conserve energy year-round, but October 5 brings special focus to the topic. To celebrate this world environmental day, why not re-evaluate how you use energy in your home? There are plenty of small solutions for climate change that can make an impact: for example, turning your thermostat down low, waiting to do your washing until you have a full load, or switching to more energy-efficient lightbulbs. Every little helps!
World Vegan Day
On November 1, World Vegan Day encourages those who follow a non-vegan diet to try some delicious vegan food. Of course, the larger aim is to educate on the environmental benefits of a vegan diet. Did you know: Eating more plant-based products is one of the most effective ways to reduce your impact on the environment? Studies show that a diet that’s free from animal products can reduce personal food-based emissions by up to 73%.
International Mountain Day
December 11 is International Mountain Day. Mountains are not only important recreational areas with spectacular views, but they also host around half of the world’s biodiversity hotspots and provide freshwater to a large part of the world’s population. However, as temperatures rise and glaciers continue to melt at an unprecedented rate, this biodiversity is threatened, and freshwater supply comes under pressure. Raising awareness of the importance of mountains and sustainable mountain tourism is what International Mountain Day is all about.
Environmental days give visibility to specific issues that might otherwise pass us by, but regardless of these dates, you can make an impact every single day by reducing your impact on the planet. Make 2023 the year you become a Climate Pioneer and start removing CO₂ today with Climeworks, safely and permanently.
Why join our mission? Hear from: Our community of Climate Pioneers.
Learn how our plants were inspired by nature in: What’s in a name: the story behind Orca.
Overwhelmed by the challenge ahead? Read: All you need to know about climate change.