Everything you need to know about Earth Day 2024

By Emily Chan

Photo: Angelina Mamoun-Bergenwall

Of course, Vogue Scandinavia believes every day should be Earth Day. But today, Monday 22nd April, gives us an opportunity to come together and rally even harder for action on the climate crisis

As the climate crisis becomes ever more serious, each Earth Day that comes along takes on extra significance. Established in 1970 in the US, the annual event brings together millions of people from around the world in support of the environment, highlighting the urgent action we need to take to save our planet.


Earth Day 2024 comes as a worrying new report found that global concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide – the top three heat-trapping gases – reached a record high again in 2023. Meanwhile, a separate study found that Antarctica saw an astonishing rise of 38.5 degrees Celsius above its average seasonal temperature back in 2022, leading to major concerns about the alarming rate at which global warming is affecting our planet.

That’s why it’s more important than ever that Earth Day is seen as a rallying cry for real action on the climate crisis. Want to ensure that you play your part? Here’s everything you need to know.

Students at Cerritos College, California, release a large balloon during a rally celebrating the first official Earth Day on 22 April 1970. Photo: Getty / Julian Wasser

What is Earth Day?

Marked by millions around the world, Earth Day is an annual event designed to shine a light on the serious environmental problems we’re facing, from the climate crisis to air pollution and deforestation.

When is Earth Day 2024?

Earth Day takes place on 22 April every year, but the entire month of April (sometimes called Earth Month) – and especially the week running up to Earth Day (sometimes called Earth Week) – is a time when environmental issues take centre stage.

Why is Earth Day on 22 April?

Earth Day was the brainchild of US senator and environmentalist Gaylord Nelson, following a 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. He came up with the idea of having college teach-ins to highlight the importance of clean air and water, with 22 April chosen as a convenient date between Spring Break and finals.

Organisers decided to name the date Earth Day, with the first event in 1970 leading to an astonishing 20 million people across the US taking to the streets – around 10 per cent of the country’s population at the time. The event undoubtedly had a major impact, with President Richard Nixon creating the Environmental Protection Agency just months later in December 1970, as well as signing the Clean Air Act.

Earth Day later became an international campaign in 1990, when environmental activists asked one of the original organisers, Denis Hayes, to help create another event to spotlight the ecological challenges facing our planet.

Activists gather on Madison Avenue, New York, to celebrate the first Earth Day on 22 April 1970. Photo: Getty

What is the Earth Day 2024 theme?

The theme for Earth Day 2024 is Planet v Plastics, highlighting the fact that 380 million tonnes of plastic are now produced every year – while only 9 per cent of plastic ever produced has been recycled. Campaigners are now calling for a 60 per cent reduction in plastic by 2040. “The Planet v Plastics campaign is a call to arms, a demand that we act now to end the scourge of plastics and safeguard the health of every living being upon our planet,” Kathleen Rogers, president of, explains.

How can you celebrate Earth Day?

There are thousands of events taking place around the world this Earth Day. You can find out what’s happening near you via this map, or even create your own event. Organisers have put together a number of ideas for celebrating Earth Day via its handy action tool kit, from avoiding single-use plastic to taking part in The Great Global Cleanup campaign. Other suggestions include signing the Global Plastics Treaty petition and saying no to fast fashion, the majority of which is made from plastic.

What else can you do to help the planet?

Of course, at Vogue we believe that every day should be Earth Day, so it’s vital that we continue to take action throughout the whole year. If you want to find out more about the challenges we’re facing, here are the books to read, the documentaries to watch and the activists to follow.

Beyond that, here are some other ways you can live more sustainably, including making more eco-friendly fashion choices, switching to renewable energy, flying less and eating less meat, fish and dairy. You can also join a local campaign group, write to your politicians and donate to environmental charities such as Greenpeace, and Rainforest Alliance.

Originally published on British Vogue.