7 Great Lessons You Can Learn From Earth Day 2024

a bright green sprout with four leaves

Discover 7 lessons we can all learn from Earth Day plus sustainable product swaps you can make that help support our earth.

Estimated Read Time: 6 minutes

Since the groovy ‘70s, Earth Day has been uniting people all across the globe to help solve major environmental issues. Now, as we gear up for Earth Day 2024, let’s look back on the day’s rich history and the invaluable lessons we can take from it.

In this post, we’re sharing wisdom from Earth Day’s gone by, and how to get involved and support sustainable companies and practices in your everyday life today.

Be inspired by everything the environmental movement has achieved already, from catalyzing greener legislation to setting the foundation for a thriving green consumer market that means businesses like ours can exist today.

Ready to join the billions of people around the world celebrating Earth Day 2024?

The Important History Behind Earth Day 


Girl Scout in canoe, picking trash out of the Potomac River during Earth Week. Thomas J. O’Halloran, photographer, April 22, 1970. U.S. News & World Report Magazine Photograph Collection. Prints & Photographs Division

1970: The OG Earth Day

After images of the 1969 Lake Erie Fire and Santa Barbara oil spill came out, 20 million Americans came together to demand a cleaner, healthier environment leading to the very first Earth Day on April 22nd, 1970.

This show of support for the planet was so incredible that this first Earth Day is credited with the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency, the passing of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act.

Talk about getting things done!

1990: Earth Day Goes Global

1990 was a big year for the Earth Day movement. With a shift in focus toward climate change and renewable energy, 200 million people in 141 countries came together on April 22nd in support of the planet.

  • Senator Gaylord Nelson, the creator of Earth Day, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
  • The Earth Day Special aired on ABC with a two-hour special featuring quite a famous cast.
  • These raised awareness and influenced the formation of the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.

Safe to say it was a hit!

2010: A Billion Acts of Green Was Launched

Fast forward to 2010, the year of skinny jeans and Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream, and up to 192 countries were celebrating Earth Day.

This year saw the launch of A Billion Acts of Green, the world’s largest environmental service campaign where people all over the world were asked to just do one thing for the planet.

Suggestions like unplugging household appliances not being used helped people save money and energy - double win!

2016: Enter The Paris Agreement

Evidence of the symbolic power of the Earth Day movement, the United Nations chose April 22nd, 2016 as the day on which 175 world leaders would commit to climate action by signing the Paris Climate Agreement.

This Earth Day event currently holds the record for most world leaders ever to sign an accord in a single day!

2020: Earth Day Goes Digital

Along with our work, social life, and TikTok addiction, COVID-19 moved Earth Day online.

On its 50th anniversary, organizers were forced to get creative and shifted their energy away from in-person events turning the celebration into a massive online affair with the very first Earth Day Live virtual event ever.

The ‘new normal’ didn’t stop anyone!

2023: All About a Green Economy

Last year’s Earth Day theme was “Invest in Our Planet”. It was a rallying call to engage the billions of people who participate in Earth Day - businesses, governments, and individuals - to come together to create a green economy for the future.

We don’t know about you, but it got us dreaming of a future economy that prioritizes the well-being of people and the planet.

2024: The Ultimate Face-off: Plastic Vs. Planet

This Earth Month’s official theme resonates with us deeply at ZeroWasteStore - planet vs. plastic! This year, we’ll be focusing on the fight against plastic in 4 corners of the earth where it doesn’t belong:


  • 1 in 3 fish caught for human consumption now contain plastic (Marine Pollution Bulletin)
  • The Earth Day Special aired on ABC with a two-hour a11 million tonnes of plastic is dumped into the ocean every year (Ocean Conservancy)special featuring quite a famous cast.
  • It’s predicted that by 2050 there’ll be more plastic than fish in the oceans (Plastic Soup)


  • Only 9% of plastic ever produced has been recycled (OECD)
  • Around 99% of plastic is made from fossil fuels (Plastic Pollution Coalition)
  • More than one million plastic water bottles are sold every minute (United Nations)


  • 700 species have been affected by plastic pollution (National Geographic)
  • 99% of all seabird species will have consumed plastic (National Academy of Sciences)
  • In 2019 a turtle hatchling the size of the palm of your hand was found with 104 plastic pieces in its stomach (Gumbo Limbo Nature Centre)

Human Health

  • Only 9% of plastic ever produced has been recycled (OECD)
  • Around 99% of plastic is made from fossil fuels (Plastic Pollution Coalition)
  • More than one million plastic water bottles are sold every minute (United Nations)

It’s time to put plastic in its place!

Now the whistlestop tour of Earth Day’s past is done, let’s see what lessons we’ve learned along the way.

7 Lessons to Take Away From Earth Day 2023


Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Lesson 1: The Actions of a Few Are Affecting Many

The wealthiest countries have the largest effects on climate change. The unfortunate truth is as climate change rears its mighty head, those least responsible will be the most affected. Know how your actions and purchasing decisions affect the lives of others.

Lesson 2: Indigenous Knowledge Can Help Fight Climate Change

For centuries, indigenous communities have occupied land in harmony with nature with the understanding that the environment is intertwined with human health and happiness. Discover how indigenous knowledge can help us rethink how we interact with our environment and how to move forward.

Lesson 3: We’re Killing Our Oceans

We over-fish, we pollute, we spill oil, and we continue to take from the ocean without ever giving back. We must learn to rely less on fossil fuels, use less plastic, use less water, clean up after ourselves, and protect our oceans to preserve our way of life.

Lesson 4: Reforestation Has an Expansive Impact

Roughly half of Earth’s tropical forests have already been cleared, taking away habitats for animals, plants, and people while also absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Reforestation can provide jobs to millions, stabilize land, prevent erosion, landslides, mudslides, natural disasters, increase soil quality, and so much more.

Lesson 5: No Wildlife, No Humans

Our lives would not be possible without the ecosystems that plants and animals create. They directly affect our lives by providing us with food, air, and water, yet we destroy habitats, over-fish, over-hunt, and burn forests down.

Lesson 6: The Power of Community

By addressing goals that build up the community such as equal rights, fair pay, equal representation, and more, communities can affect real change. Not only does it help to make the community a better place, but these policies and changes can work their way through local government and influence others to do the same.

Lesson 7: We Cannot Prevent What We Don’t Understand

Billions of people around the world lack education about climate change and sustainable policies. The lack of education denies our future leaders, who are living in climate change, the opportunities to create solutions.

What You Can Do to Make an Impact This Earth Day

The next step after knowledge is action, so let’s take those lessons and make a change!

It may seem like the actions of one won’t make a difference, but that’s far from the truth.

  • You have a voice
  • You have buying power.
  • You have a community.

And that’s all you need to start making a difference!

You’ll find that as you spend your time getting involved in organizations that help our planet you’ll find tons of amazing people doing the same.

How to Get Involved in Earth Day 2024

A successful cleanup in Washington, D.C.’s Rock Creek Park

Photo by earthday.org


Find an Earth Day sponsored event near your


Host a cleanup (Beach, highway, park)


Watch a group of climate activists discuss challenges and opportunities for climate and environmental literacy


Support Women-Owned & BIPOC Businesses


Support businesses dedicated to sustainable products & practices


Donate to environmental organizations


Volunteer your time at a local organization (Food pantry, animal shelter, women’s shelter)


Volunteer to help local wildlife


Say no to pesticides in your products


Incorporate more sustainable habits (Like those below)

ZeroWasteStore: Products to Protect the Planet Beyond Earth Day

Incorporating sustainable products into your daily routine can help you purchase better products and reduce your waste all at the same time. Here are our top picks for Earth Day and beyond!

Better for Wildlife

Shampoo & Conditioner Bars

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Bee Revival Kit

Helps save bees

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Lip Therapy Balms

Vegan, % donated to help save wildlife

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Endangered Tees

10% donated to help save wildlife

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Elate Mascara


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Vegan Food Wraps

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Better for Our Forests

Reusable Paper Towels


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Bamboo Toilet Paper


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Sponge Cloths


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Bamboo Toothbrush


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Better for Our Oceans

Bamboo Floss

Biodegradable, plant-based

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Metal Straws

Prevents ocean pollution

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Got Bag

Made from recycled ocean plastic

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Better for the Community

Gua Sha

% donated to AAPI organizations

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Linear Beauty


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Disinfectant Wipes


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No Tox Life Dish Block


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Earth Day 2024: Final Thoughts

In the heart of Earth Day 2024, we've journeyed through its history and gleaned seven powerful lessons. Now, armed with knowledge, let's rally together for change, and get involved! Whether that’s by making smart purchasing choices and donating to causes that care.

Happy Earth Day!

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