How Many Holidays does the Earth Need?

I love the earth and everything, but geez.

Nothing wrong with celebrating and being grateful for the earth. And flowers and compassionate people and sunrises and sunsets. Tasty food. Children’s laughter. A hug. And whatever else is good about life.

But there are far too many “holidays” for the earth and, in my humble opinion, the seemingly never-ending supply of earth-dedicated days diminishes the true importance of being mindful on a daily basis.

Celebrating the earth and its parts should just be part of who we are. Like arms and legs, eyes and ears. If we have them we’re probably grateful for them and we try to take care of them so they continue to work.

Playing devil’s advocate, many people give little to no thought about how they impact the earth and others around them. Maybe they need a reminder or subtle kick in the arse with an environmental holiday replete with eco-friendly streamers and people breaking out in earthy songs to get them back on track. Maybe some eco-friendly gifts, too.

But too many holidays could serve to overwhelm these same folks, who may just throw up their hands in surrender, crying, “I prefer the fun kind of holidays that call for drinking and/or lighting off fireworks!”

Everybody, take a deep breath.

So, today is World Environment Day. I’m not buying a card. I’m not living today differently from yesterday. I’m not calling my parents. I’m just writing about how there are too many Earth holidays.

If you like to have any reason to celebrate and want to know all the earth-related days, here they are:

  • World Wetlands Day – February 2
  • World Sparrow Day – March 20
  • World Water Day – March 22
  • Earth Day – April 22
  • Arbor Day – Last Friday in April (each state also has its own observation based on best tree planting time)
  • Green Up Day – first Saturday of May in Vermont
  • International Migratory Bird Day – May 3
  • Greenery Day – May 4 in Japan (previously April 29)
  • International Day for Biological Diversity (World Biodiversity Day) – May 22
  • Bike-to-Work Day – Third Friday in May
  • World Environment Day – June 5
  • World Oceans Day – June 8
  • Global Wind Day – June 15
  • World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought – June 17
  • World Population Day – July 11
  • International Tiger Day – July 29
  • International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer – September 16
  • Clean Up the World Weekend – September 17-19
  • Zero Emissions Day [1] – September 21
  • Car Free Day – September 22
  • Ecological Debt Day (Earth Overshoot Day) – September 23 in 2008, but receding
  • World Rivers Day – every last Sunday in September
  • World Habitat Day – first Monday in October
  • International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction – second Wednesday in October
  • World Planting Day – October 22
  • International Day of Climate Action – October 24
  • International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict – November 6
  • America Recycles Day – November 15(ish)
  • World Soil Day – December 5
  • International Mountain Day – December 11
  • Ozone Action Day – at certain times during the summer months
  • eDay – variable date

For your edification, I’ve added special week-long, year-long and even decade-long events. Don’t expect me to remind you of these again.

  • Green Office Week
  • Bike to Work Week Victoria
  • National Clean Beaches Week – July 1 to 7
  • Conservation Week
  • European Mobility Week – September 16 to 22
  • Bike Week – second week in June
  • Recycle Week – 20 to 26 June 2011
  • Green Office Week
  • European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) – 9 days, last complete week in November
  • No Car Day – China, week of September 22
  • International Polar Year – 1882–1883
  • International Polar Year – 1932–1933
  • World Population Year – 1974
  • International Year of the Ocean (IYO) – 1998
  • International Year of Mountains (IYM) – 2002
  • International Year of Ecotourism (IYE) – 2002
  • International Year of Freshwater (IYF) – 2003
  • International Year of Deserts and Desertification – 2006
  • International Year of the Dolphin – 2007–2008
  • International Polar Year – 2007–2009
  • International Year of Planet Earth – 2008
  • International Year of Sanitation – 2008
  • International Year of Natural Fibres 2009
  • Year of the Gorilla – 2009
  • International Year of Biodiversity – 2010
  • International Year of Forests – 2011
  • International Drinking Water Decade, 1981-1990
  • International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction – 1990s
  • United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development – 2005-2014
  • Water for Life Decade – 2005-2015
  • United Nations Decade on Biodiversity – 2010-2020

Did I miss any? Please let me know. But don’t expect a card from me.

2 Responses

  1. Well posted, Lynn. Celebrating – or perhaps rather respecting – the earth should be daily routine, not a holiday venture, and inflationary use of *anything* just diminishes its effectiveness.

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