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Since its launch in 1970, Earth Day has helped catalyze environmental action around the world, from recycling and beach cleanups to planting trees and buying renewable energy. This year’s theme, Planet vs. Plastics, encourages people to look at ways they can help reduce plastics consumption at least 60% by 2040.

Visit to learn more, and then take local action, starting, perhaps, with a visit to one of the North Shore events commemorating the holiday.

Ice cream special, Holy Cow Ice Cream, Gloucester and Peabody | While supplies last

Chocolate ice cream infused with raspberries and studded with chocolate chips, made by award-wining ice creamery Holy Cow sounds pretty good, right? Well, it gets better: Proceeds from pints of the special edition ice cream, produced in partnership with Gloucester’s Sawyer Free Library, will benefit the Cape Ann Climate Coalition.

Seeds and paintings, Lynn Museum, Lynn | April 17 and 19

Decorate your own planter and plant seeds for spring, experiment with recycled garden art-making, or register for a painting workshop inspired by natural landscapes as part of the Lynn Museum’s weeklong Earth Day celebration.

North Shore Nature Fair, Glen Urquhart School, Beverly | April 20

Celebrate and learn about protecting our planet with hands-on activities and nature-based projects led by professional educators at this free, family-friendly event thrown by Glen Urquhart School, Salem Sound Coastwatch, and Kestrel Educational Adventures.

Volunteer Clean Up, Appleton Farms, Ipswich | April 20

Join other community members at Appleton Farms to assist in cleaning up the farm, complete barnyard projects, restore the chicken enclosure, clean up trails, split and stack wood, assist with property enhancements, and otherwise spend some time caring for one the North Shore’s most beautiful and important outdoor properties.

Earth Day craft supply swap, Perfectly Imperfect Gift Shoppe, Topsfield | April 20

Reduce waste by swapping your unused craft supplies for a new stash of shiny sequins and yummy yarn. Don’t have any leftovers to trade? Make a cash donation, stock up on supplies, and get crafting.

Earth Port Film Festival | Photograph courtesy of Firehouse Center for the Arts

Earth Port Film Festival, Firehouse Center for the Arts, Newburyport | April 21

Returning for its 10th year, the Earth Port Film Festival collects ten short films exploring climate change, pollution, food systems, and other essential environmental topics. Films range from the serious to the hilarious, but all are united by a need to share the importance of protecting our planet.

Earth Day Celebration, Smolak Farms, North Andover | April 22

Celebrate the earth at t thriving local farm. Families will do an earth-themed craft, hear a reading of “Happy Earth Day,” enjoy a cup of “edible dirt,” and have a chance to feed some friendly farm animals.

Living Root Bridge of The Khasi, Mawlynnong village, India. © Amos Chapple (originally published in
Julia Watson, Lo-TEK. Design by Radical Indigenism, 2019)

Our Time on Earth climate activation, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem | April 27

Delve right into the deep stuff during a pop-up conversation with Stephen Young, a climate change researcher who bridges the arts and sciences through art gallery exhibitions that highlight environmental issues. While you’re at the Peabody Essex Museum, don’t miss the immersive installations of the Our Time on Earth exhibit.

Earth Fest, Town Hall, Swampscott | April 27

Visit Swampscott town hall to learn about the work of local environmental organizations, buy a used bike to help cut down your carbon footprint, and take home an American hornbeam tree to plant.