What’s the difference between “Earth Day” and “World Environment Day”?

What’s the difference between “Earth Day” and “World Environment Day”?

Most Americans are generally aware of “Earth Day,” which is observed annually on April 22nd. But Earth Day is closely followed by another lesser-known but equally important day of observance for the environment, World Environment Day, which is observed on June 5th. 

While both Earth Day and World Environment Day share the common goal of promoting environmental awareness and action, they differ in their dates, origins, and specific areas of focus. Here’s a helpful primer on the differences between these two days of observance:


Earth Day:

  • Date: Earth Day is celebrated annually on April 22nd.
  • Origin: Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970 and has since become a global movement to raise awareness about environmental issues and promote sustainable practices.
  • Focus: Earth Day emphasizes a wide range of environmental concerns, including climate change, pollution, deforestation, biodiversity loss, and resource conservation. It aims to mobilize people to take action and make positive changes for the planet.
  • Activities: On Earth Day, various events, activities, and initiatives are organized worldwide, such as tree plantings, clean-up campaigns, educational programs, rallies, and advocacy efforts. It serves as a day for individuals, communities, organizations, and governments to come together in support of environmental protection.

World Environment Day:

  • Date: World Environment Day is observed annually on June 5th.
  • Origin: World Environment Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 as a way to encourage global awareness and action for the protection of the environment.
  • Focus: World Environment Day focuses on a specific environmental theme each year. The theme is chosen by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and serves as a call to action for individuals, governments, and organizations to address pressing environmental issues.
  • Activities: On World Environment Day, various events and activities take place worldwide, such as environmental clean-ups, sustainability workshops, awareness campaigns, policy discussions, and community engagements. The day serves as a platform to promote sustainable practices, raise awareness about specific environmental challenges, and highlight the importance of environmental stewardship.


These differences aside, both observances play crucial roles in engaging individuals and communities to address environmental issues and work towards a sustainable future.

The Life You Can Save’s Tackle Climate Change Fund currently supports two innovative, high-impact charities — Clean Air Task Force and Evergreen Collaborative — that are committed to addressing the goals of World Environment Day not just on June 5th, but day in and day out. 

A donation to the Tackle Climate Change Fund supports advocacy for clean air policies, the adoption of low-carbon technologies and systemic changes in the US power sector guided by the principles of environmental justice  — all at once!


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About the author:

Charles Bresler

Co-founder, Board Member

After earning a PhD in Social and Clinical Psychology, Charlie Bresler became director of behavioral medicine for The California School of Professional Psychology, Fresno (CSPP-F), where he was a full-time professor and founder of a teaching clinic for anxiety & stress disorders. In 1993, he was recruited by The Men’s Wearhouse, where he went on to be head of human resources, stores, marketing, and, ultimately, president. He stepped down in 2008 to fulfill his long-standing desire to work directly on social and economic issues, not too long after he read Peter Singer’s book, The Life You Can Save. Catalyzed by the concept, Charlie reached out to Peter and proposed combining Peter’s theory with the formation of a nonprofit to advance Peter’s ideas and to raise money for high-impact, cost-effective organizations. Together, they founded The Life You Can Save, where Charlie took on all organizational operations as executive director until 2024. He was supported in this work and in his financial support for the organization by his wife Diana, a family physician, and executed the role pro bono.

The views expressed in blog posts are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Peter Singer or The Life You Can Save.