In elementary school, Earth Day was always a highlight of the spring calendar. Maybe you could count on extra recess time so you and your classmates could revel in the sunshine for just a little longer, or maybe your teachers came up with a fun, eco-friendly craft project using an old milk carton or cardboard box. A decade or two may have passed since those days, but Earth Day is still worth celebrating as adults. There are plenty of creative ways for us grown ups to commemorate April 22. Scroll down to read more about six easy-to-do, Earth-loving activities for the environmentalist in all of us.

1. Pick up a relevant read. When was the last time you read a book about the environment? If the answer is “uh, never,” then Earth Day is the perfect opportunity to change that! There’s a ton of amazing reading material out there that can easily teach you a little more about the history of the environmental movement or open your eyes to what we can do to protect our planetary home. (We love The Lorax.) Take some time this April to educate yourself simply by picking up a book.

Young couple riding on the tandem bicycle

2. Take the day off from driving. As you probably know, car emissions are a major contributor to air pollution and global warming (a serious political concern for many of us). In solidarity with our planet, find a 24-hour period (or more!) to keep your wheels parked in the garage. You don’t even need to do it on actual Earth Day! The point is to set aside the time to be intentional with your transportation. Instead of driving, explore your neighborhood on foot, jog to dinner with friends, or check out a bike-sharing program to get you where you need to go!

3. Plan a picnic. Our lives are pretty indoors-centric, and Earth Day is the perfect occasion to break away from the office-to-couch routine with an outdoorsy outing. What better way to enjoy the sunshine and green grass than with a delicious meal and your favorite people? Grab a picnic basket, stuff it with some tasty treats, and don’t forget the reusable cups for toasting! For an added element of fun and exercise, organize a friendly kickball game to get your friends moving when the eating (and drinking) is done.

4. Repurpose your jeans. Recycling is an awesome way to show that you’re a friend to the environment. While it’s super important to sort your trash to ensure that bottles and cans can be repurposed (instead of sent to landfills), recycling can also happen in your closet! Your old denim is just waiting to have a second life as a pillow or bag, and the list of creative upcycling projects goes on and on. Repurposed denim headband? Sure! Jean coasters? Don’t mind if we do!

5. Test out your DIY gardening skills. Whether you’re a city dweller whose plant space is limited to space-saving window boxes or a more experienced gardener looking to expand your plant brood, Earth Day is the perfect occasion to honor the outdoors by bringing a little greenery into your life. Smart small with some tiny blooms or herbs. Maybe by next April, you’ll be ready to take on a full flowerbed!

6. Host an all-green, all-local dinner party. Invite your friends to a potluck where all the dishes they contribute consist of fresh, locally grown ingredients. You’ll be supporting farmers and enjoying a great meal. If the weather is good, set your table outside so that your guests can soak in the fresh air and remember all that Mother Nature has to offer.

Do you have other suggestions for creative Earth Day celebrations? Tweet us @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)