On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to fight for a healthy, sustainable environment. Colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values. These groups, leaded by Gaylord Nelson (Former U.S. Senator in Wisconsin), originated what we now know as Earth Day.

The possibilities for getting involved are endless. You can: Volunteer, go to a festival, install solar panels on your roof, organize an event in your community, change a habit, help launch a community garden, etc. Do something nice for the Earth, have fun, meet new people, and make a difference. But it is important to remember that you can do these things all year-round. Earth Day should be every day, and we should strive to build a better future and commit to protect our environment.

Here are 10 fun activities that you can be involved with this year:

1) Earth Day Craft & Mini Garden Tour: It is a wonderful activity for kids. Entrance into this event is free with garden admission but note that it is limited to the first 30 children. Guests will make botanical themed crafts. 

2) Earth Day Rockaway: This event allows visitors to celebrate Earth Day on the beautiful Rockaway waterfront. It's its ninth year and includes free environmental activities. This year, among other offerings, you can learn how to better utilize the earth’s resources while your kids get their faces painted. 

3) Queens Botanical Garden: It is a must see event. The Arbor Festival is a lovely opportunity for people of all ages to celebrate Earth and Arbor Day. The event has tons of food, crafts, beer tent and even a petting zoo. It’s free with garden admission. Prices vary if you choose not to purchase a garden admission ticket.

4) 5K Walk & Green Tour (hosted by Earth Day New York): The tour will focus on a scavenger hunt-style walk that will allow volunteers to learn more about green places in New York City. The event is a fundraiser to earn money toward environmental education programs. After you’ve worked up an appetite, stick around for the picnic lunch that follows.

5) The Green Festival Expo: It will be held throughout the day with various activities. Some events to look forward to are exhibits on green products and services. There will also be opportunities for shopping and talks from inspirational speakers.

If you are a “foodie,” you will LOVE these:

1) Daybreaker:  The early morning dance party that replaces booze bars with coffee and juice bars will be hosting a special Earth Day edition. Celebrate the planet with DJ PjOE and expect many earthly surprises. 

2) The Musket Room: They are turning off the lights for chef Matt Lambert's Earth Day menu ($95). 7 courses, all raw (meaning nothing cooked above 120 Fahrenheit), will further reduce the need to use natural resources and be enjoyed by candleight. Dishes include Scallops with fennel and olive oil, Venison tartar accompanied by Uni, pickles, mustard and truffle and a sweet lemongrass custard with apple and yoghurt. 

3) Eataly: The italian market/restaurant is celebrating all day, starting with an 8:45 a.m conversation with Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini on the rooftop. From 12p.m. - 6 p.m., the marketplace will host a sustainable in-store farmer's market. 

4) Contrada: Chef John Paidas will be showing his love for local flora with an Earth Day Vegan dinner. The $50 4-course vegan prix fixe starts with an Heirloom Legume Salad with Homemade Ciabatta, followed by Hand-Cut Tagliatelle with Asparagus & Sweet Chili, continues with Toasted Quinoa with Spring Vegetables & Tuscan Oil, and finishes with an Oatmeal Cake with Chocolate Crumble & Wild Blueberries.

5) NYC Markets: All markets will be celebrating Earth Day! Visit www.growNYC.org for events in your neighborhood.