Do Something


In lieu of a citywide program, you can sign up with Bennet Compost or Circle Compost for curbside pickup. 

For a full list of composting companies in Philly (and resources for how to dispose of other types of waste — like cooking oil, electronics, and scrap wood—responsibly) check out CleanPHL’s zero waste guide.

Or, DIY and start composting at home! Indoor worm bins are great if you don’t have access to an outside space (no, they’re not smelly). If you do have a small yard, check out this article to learn how to set up your own outdoor system.


Environmental Advocacy

Organizations protecting Philly's air, water, and climate future

Philadelphia’s Environmental Justice Advisory Commission is a community-led effort for environmental justice. You can subscribe to the mailing list and keep up with activities using this form.

Green Building United advocates for green building education to make communities healthy, resilient, and sustainable.

PennEnvironment is working on solutions to global warming by adopting renewable energy, transforming cities to be more walkable and bikeable, and promoting electric vehicles.

Tree Philly wants to see 30 percent tree canopy coverage across Philadelphia. Connect with them for resources to plant and maintain our urban forest.

Be a better Philadelphia Citizen

Here's how

One of the founding tenets of The Philadelphia Citizen is to get people the resources they need to become better, more engaged citizens of their city.

We hope to do that in our Good Citizenship Toolkit, which includes a host of ways to get involved in Philadelphia — whether you want to contact your City Councilmember about ensuring our sustainable future, get those experiencing homelessness the goods they need, or simply go out to dinner somewhere where you know your money is going toward a greater good.

Find an issue that’s important to you in the list below, and get started on your journey of A-plus citizenship.

Vote and strengthen democracy

Stand up for marginalized communities

Create a cleaner, greener Philadelphia

Help our local youth and schools succeed

Support local businesses

Earth Day Philadelphia Guide

More than 50 years after the holiday began, there are more reasons — and more ways — than ever to combat climate change, right here in Philly

Earth Day Philadelphia Guide

More than 50 years after the holiday began, there are more reasons — and more ways — than ever to combat climate change, right here in Philly

Earth Day began in 1970 with a demonstration. Today, more than 1 billion people celebrate by working together and apart to amplify what’s good for the earth — and to mitigate what’s bad. Here in Philly, that means planting and growing native plants and trees, cleaning up streams and parks, learning new conservation practices, teaching kids to do the same — and, on occasion, having a drink or two. Philadelphia’s Earth Day stretches from more than a week before the holiday — officially April 22, a Monday — into the week after.

Here’s our guide to events that celebrate and restore the Philadelphia part of the planet on and around Earth Day, plus things you can do any old day to make our city’s environment healthier.


Plant a tree. Pet a goat. See a movie. Buy some used clothes. Have a cocktail.

PHS TREE PLANTING, April 16-19 and 19-21, times vary

Philadelphians planting trees with PHS tree tender program
Photo courtesy of Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society has 1,100 trees that need to get into the ground within a single week. If you have four hours, you can become a volunteer Tree Tender. April 16 through 19, volunteers deliver, sort and distribute trees all over the city; April 19 through 21, volunteers plant trees in neighborhoods. Register here.

Drexel University's EarthFest.
Drexel University’s EarthFest.

DREXEL’S EARTHFEST 2024, April 17, from 11:30am to 1pm

You don’t have to be a student to check out Drexel University’s block party of an Earth Day pregame, replete with games, giveaways, free food, green student orgs and biking resources. (Rain date: April 19.) Free. 33rd and Lancaster Walk

CONFLUENCE FILM FESTIVAL, April 19-21, times vary

Delikado, a film in the Academy of Natural Science's Confluence Film Festival.
Delikado, a film in the Academy of Natural Science’s Confluence Film Festival.

The Academy of Natural Sciences hosts Confluence: Earthly Films for Philadelphia, the museum’s first-ever environmentally-focused film festival. The festival features 10 films across three different locations, including Cherry Street Pier and the Academy of Natural Sciences. Following each screening, attendees have the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion with filmmakers. $10 admission in honor of Earth Day. Register here.


The farm — those goats! — is open, and the Cope House is too for a full-up day that begins with a bird walk and yoga, continues with a kiddo-fun scavenger hunt at AdventureWoods, and includes double-dutch, Prescribe Outside games, flower arranging with Isaiah Reese, drumming with S(tree)twork’s Drum Corp, and live music from Koof Ibi and Mel Harris. Food too. Free. 1 Awbury Road and 6060 Ardleigh Street

EARTH DAY “SUPER MEGA” SERVICE DAY, April 20, from 9am to noon

Five adults and four children stand with garbage bags and grabbers in Fairmount Park's Wissahickon section.
Photo courtesy of Friends of the Wissahickon.

Friends of the Wissahickon needs volunteers for five park cleanups — removing litter and leaves, cutting back invasive plants — at Bells Mill Road and Forbidden Drive, Valley Green, Harvey Street, Blue Bell Park and Ridge Avenue Trailhead. The friends provide gloves, tools and instruction. You wear sturdy shoes and long pants and BYO water. Register here.

NATUREPALOOZA, April 20, 10am to 2pm

Celebrate Earth Day immersed in a 365-acre forest learning about how to help the planet become greener. The kid-friendly event features a variety of activity tables, guided hikes, arts and crafts and food trucks. Register here. Free. 8480 Hagy’s Mill Road

SPRING FEST, April 20 from 10am to 2pm

Bartram’s Garden shows off its history and its botany during this annual event, with a nursery sale, garden tours, vendor and community marketplace, music by Orchestra 2001, a seed exchange and a native plant workshop. Free. 5400 Lindbergh Boulevard


The chain resale shop hosts their annual Earth Day $1 Sale nationwide, including in Center City. Buffalo Exchange puts adult and juniors clothing, shoes and accessories on sale for just $1 apiece. Every dollar goes to Goats of Anarchy, a sanctuary for farm animals with disabilities. The sale is cash only. 1520 Chestnut Street

MERCADO DE LATINAS, April 20, from 11am to 3pm

A row of three spring cocktails from Sor Ynéz in Philadelphia.
Spring cocktails at Sor Ynéz by @sojournphilly.

Sor Ynéz in Norris Square opens its patio to the artists of Mercado de Latinas, a group that Reyna Navarro founded to support small businesses that sell handmade cultural merch. 1800 N. American Street

WURD PRESENTS ECOFEST, April 20 from 1 to 5pm

Belmont Mansion hosts WURD Radio’s P.O.C. and Andrea Lawful-Sanders for a day of “activism and journalism squarely focused on the impact of environmental justice on Black communities,” including workshops by Black and Planted, Soulham Yoga and Black Farmers Outreach. Free. 2000 Belmont Mansion Drive


One way to celebrate Earth Day: Get smarter. Naturalist Mike Weilbacher goes to Glen Foerd to lead a deep dive into specific climate-based issues here in Philly, with a side of pop, politics, and the thing we like best: solutions. Questions are welcome. Register. Free. 5001 Grant Avenue


The Academy of Natural Sciences offers an afternoon session to intro you to the rainforest, with its fascinating plant and animal life. They’ll even let you meet mammals and amphibians from the earth’s most biodiverse habitat. Free. 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

EVERYDAY FUTURES FEST BLOCK PARTY, April 21, from noon to 5pm

There will be music, art, storytellers, vendors selling repurposed materials made into crafts, plus community and sustainable science workshops at this Bella Vista block party. Free. 7th and Catharine streets

EARTH DAY HIKE + MEDITATION, April 21 from 1 to 3:30pm

Ecotherapist and Lenape language keeper Krista Nelson leads a two-mile moderate hike along the Trolley Trail, stopping by Chamonix Creek to meditate and drink in nature sounds. Arrive early in order to join the group. BYO water. No restrooms along the trail. $15. 50 Chamonix Drive

PHILADELPHIA EARTH DAY 2024 BLOCK PARTY, April 21 from 1 to 4pm

Franklin Square hosts an earthy bash with live music from Philly’s own Speedy Ortiz and rising R&B star Phabo, plus speakers, family activities, food and more. Free. 200 N. 6th Street

REWORK THE RUNWAY, April 22, from 7 to 11pm

A scene from 2023's Rework the Runway event.
A scene from 2023’s Rework the Runway event.

On Earth Day itself, Northern Liberties’ North Bowl hosts a sustainable design competition-fashion show featuring original works by 14 local designers, a vintage clothing market by Now + Then Marketplace, pay-as-you-go food and drink — and bowling. The designer who wins gets a four-way rack display at Urban Exchange Project. $25. 909 N. 2nd Street

CELEBRATE TRAILS DAY, April 27, times vary

Parks and green spaces across the U.S. open and activate their trails for Celebrate Trails Day, sort of an Earth Day offshoot. Here in town, those places include Tacony Creek Park Trail (celebrating birds and throwing a Tookany Creek Trail Fest), John Heinz Refuge and Cobbs Creek. All free. Various locations

ECOFAIR, April 27, from noon to 6pm

Cherry Street Pier invites Green Philly over for an all-ages day of sustainability fun. For the kids: Storytelling and art activities. For everyone: A sustainable market, panel talks, Delaware River views. Register. Free. 121 N. Columbus Boulevard



Rain or shine, New Hope offers live music, a petting zoo, eco-friendly vendors, plus super earthy activities like birding, live animal talks and a bug hunt. Free. 2877 Creamery Road, New Hope


The annual festival features activities for kids, green demos and vendors, food trucks, a beer garden, live music and more. Free. 175 W. Valley Forge Road, King of Prussia.

RECYCLING DRIVE-THRU, April 21, 11am to 2pm

One day after their Earth Day Festival, Upper Merion Township holds their third annual recycling drive-thru. The event includes paper shredding and e-waste collection through PAR Recycle Works. Free. In the Upper Merion Middle School Parking Lot, 450 Keebler Road, King of Prussia


The American Swedish Historical Museum
The American Swedish Historical Museum.

EARTH DAY FREE FAMILY DAY, April 14 from noon to 4pm

The American Swedish Historical Museum, being Swedish, gets their Earth Day on early and completely, showing off their Scandinavian-by-way-of-South-Philly smarts with workshops on paper making, solar printing, pollinator identifying, wildflower planting and recycled material building. Free. 1900 Pattison Avenue (in FDR Park)


Celebrate Earth Day every day by working toward our livable, sustainable future. Here are nine ways every Philadelphia Citizen can contribute:

1. Don’t give in to “climate doomism”

As one of the most famous climatologists of our times — Penn professor Michael E. Mann — reminds us repeatedly in his work: “The reality is, if the science told me that we are f’ed, and there’s nothing we can do about it, I would have to be truthful about that. But the fact is, we can very much do something about it.”

2. Shop at farmers markets

Fresh vegetables from the Stoltzfus farm.

So many reasons to shop local farmers markets, many of which have opened for the season:

    1. Locally grown food has a much smaller carbon footprint than food shipped from around the country / world — and tends to be much fresher.
    2. Small farms that come to markets tend to practice more sustainable farming practices, prioritizing soil health, biodiversity, and the reduction of chemical pollutants.
    3. Less packaging reduces waste and energy required to produce and dispose of packaging materials.
    4. In-season food tastes better!
    5. It feels great to get outside, interact with the people who produce your food, and discover something new-to-you to eat.

In and around Philadelphia, we have plenty of opportunities to purchase local produce and mingle with our neighbors.

3. Grow your own food

A Philadelphia woman picks peppers out of her urban garden.
Photo by Sabina Louise Pierce.

You might think that you don’t have enough space to garden here in the city, but you would be wrong! Whether you have a window box or a backyard, you can help reduce the enormous carbon footprint and waste that commercial agriculture and food processing leave behind by growing your own fresh herbs, vegetables, and fruits — which also helps mitigate climate change.

4. Shop at local, sustainable shops

Good Buy Supply on East Passyunk Avenue.

Financial activism is more than just boycotts. You can put your money where your mouth is by supporting local businesses and companies that operate sustainably and responsibly. Invest where you live by purchasing goods and services from businesses based in your community. Shop businesses that put people, community, and the earth before profits. You vote in elections. Now vote with your wallet.

5. Clean up your hood

Don’t relegate your cleanup efforts to one of those designated cleanup days, including Earth Day. Sadly, our litter-riddled, dumped-upon city needs cleaning up all the time. Do it on your own time, or on a schedule. Here’s how.

6. Ditch fossil fuels for pedal power

Friends cruise through the streets of Philadelphia on Indego bikes
Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

Those who can bike — and can do it safely — make getting around town easy and fun. No parking!

7. Stop throwing stuff away / buying new crap

Given that the U.S. recycling system is pretty broken, we can take recycle-reuse-reduce into our own hands, thanks to the social media black market of household goods (and then some). Stop the flow of junk into landfills! Don’t toss that old furniture, lamp, Tupperware set, unused pet supplies, or books in the trash — give them a second life. And, don’t head straight to Target/IKEA/HomeGoods the next time you need something new. Instead, buy … nothing!

8. Mitigate climate change in your daily life

It’s easier than you think. Fifty ways how you can do it.

9. Vote.

All of these are good steps to take to live healthier, make a cleaner and more beautiful city, and do our parts to mitigate the effects of climate change. But the reality, as Mann says, is that 70 percent of the world’s carbon emissions come from just 100 companies worldwide. They get away with it because policymakers let them. Does that matter to you? Then, vote for candidates who pledge to do something about it. (Start local, by casting a ballot in the municipal primary on May 16.)

Broke in Philly logo



Photo courtesy of Friends of the Wissahickon.

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