This year for Earth Day in NYC, the city is celebrating sustainability. Throughout the week you’ll find a number of events around the city that encourage New Yorkers to be more environmentally conscious and to live in harmony with our planet!
From dining on special food-waste-free menus at select restaurants to getting your hands dirty by participating in citywide clean-ups (and much more), here are some of the best ways to celebrate Earth Day in NYC this year.
1. Enjoy thrilling performances on car-free streets
Ydanis Rodriguez, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) announced that the annual Car Free Earth Day in NYC event will be returning for its fifth year on Saturday, April 23. On these car-free streets you can enjoy exciting performances by local artists like the Mazarte Dance Company. Learn more here.
Where: Multiple streets
When: Saturday, April 23 / 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
2. Get a free tree to plant in your backyard
The New York Restoration Project (NYRP) is working to make the city a bit greener, and this April and May they’re giving away free trees across NYC! This tree giveaway returns after a two year hiatus due to COVID-19, and this spring they have 2,000 native species to give away. Learn more here.
Where: Multiple locations
When: Multiple times
3. Turn your food and yard waste into soil through drop-off or curbside composting
One third of New Yorkers trash is comprised of food scraps and yard waste, but rather than throwing it out just to have it end up in a landfill, why not compost it? Composting speeds up the decomposition process by providing the waste with decomposing organisms, such as fungi and worms, leaving behind a nutrient-rich soil-looking matter can work wonders in a garden. Make everyday Earth Day in NYC when you participate in composting. Learn more here.
4. Take part in Earth Day Initiative’s Earth Day 2022 Festival + Virtual Stage
Earth Day Initiative is bringing people together to call for climate action and environmental justice. Their Earth Day 2022 Festival + Virtual Stage, which will be held around the world virtually and in person at Union Square, will provide a valuable space for the climate and environmental communities to connect with the public, meet and learn from one another, and bring new people into the movement. Head to union square at 12p.m. on April 21st, or if you’d like to attend virtually, head to their website on the day of the event.
Where: Union Square
When: Thursday, April 21 / 12p.m. – 7p.m.
5. Dine in the dark at MO Lounge
In honor of Earth Day on April 22, the Mandarin Oriental is turning the lights off at MO Lounge at sunset and giving guests the rare opportunity to enjoy dining in the dark! The menu for this unique dining experience will be filled with dishes made from ingredients sourced within 100 miles of the hotel. Reservations can be made here.
Where: 80 Columbus Cir Floor 35
When: Friday, April 22 / At sunset
6. Join Queens Farm on their Bee-A-Pollinator: Earth Day Service Day
On Friday Queens Farm is honoring Earth Day in NYC by hosting a volunteer service day. Farming since 1697, Queens Farm is one of the longest continually farmed sites in New York State, and this year you can assist with sifting compost, a spring clean-up, mulching, weeding and more. You can also enjoy talks with the farm’s beekeeper, a compost giveback, tractor-drawn hayrides ($5/person), free giveaways, and more! You can register here.
Where: Queens Farm
When: Friday, April 22 / 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
7. Immerse yourself in a Sunrise Sound Meditation at Edge
Head to the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere for a special Sunrise Sound Meditation by Equinox meditation specialist Michael Gervais and intuitive sound practitioner Franck Raharinosy. Here you’ll be guided through a custom-tailored experience of breathwork, meditation, and deep listening bathed in the sounds of rich and immersive instruments. Find out more here.
Where: 30 Hudson Yards
When: Friday, April 22 / 6:30 a.m. – 7:30 a.m.
8. Thrift select items at Buffalo Exchange’s $1 sale
Bargain hunters and thrifting lovers, this one’s for you! On Saturday, April 23, starting at 11a.m., Buffalo Exchange will be hosting its annual Earth Day $1 Sale at all locations after a two-year hiatus. While supplies last certain items will be only $1, and all proceeds from the sale will benefit Pollinator Partnership, a non-profit who promotes and protects the health and natural habitats of bees, butterflies, bats and other necessary pollinators. Be sure to get there early—it’s likely a line will start forming! (P.S. this sale is cash only!)
Where: Multiple Locations
When: Saturday, April 23 / Starts at 11a.m. (while supplies last)
9. Head to Brooklyn Bridge Park for a mix of outdoor events
This year the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy is celebrating Earth Day with a series of free fitness classes, self-led volunteer opportunities, and education programs. Choose from a meditative nature walk, yoga, a coastal cleanup, horticulture volunteering, a book giveaway, and more. See their full calendar of events here.
Where: Multiple spots around Brooklyn Bridge Park, learn more here
When: Saturday, April 23 / 10a.m. – 2p.m.
10. Join non-profit organization We Aim Higher in cleaning up the Bronx
Where: Crotona Ave. and E. Tremont Ave.
When: Saturday, April 23rd / 12p.m.
11. Experience an afternoon of fun at Rockefeller Center’s Center Plaza
Rockefeller Center is honoring Earth Day with Spring Sunday, the next installment in their family series. This event will feature activities like basket weaving, nature walks, and workshops with the Climate Museum and the National Wildlife Federation. Plus enjoy live music by The Rock & Roll Playhouse, a visit by Roxy the Owl, and snacks and giveaways. Registration is required and you can register here.
Where: Center Plaza at Rockefeller Center
When: Sunday, April 24 / 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
12. Enjoy plant-based dishes and bee-centric Patron-forward cocktails at Latin restaurant Maya
Maya is taking part in the campaign Vivas Abejas, Long Live the Bees, which honors the bees and their impact on the food system. Now through April 24th enjoy an exclusive specialty dish and cocktail menu featuring entirely plant-based dishes and bee-centric Patron-forward cocktails, like Honey Lavender Margaritas, made with Patron Blanco Tequila, fresh lime juice, honey lavender simple syrup, Giffard Crème de Violette, and triple sec.
Where: 1191 1st Ave.
When: Now through Sunday, April 24 / Monday-Thursday 4 p.m. – 10p.m., Friday 4 p.m. – 11p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. & 5 p.m. – 11 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. & 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
13. Dine sustainably at Estuary at ONE°15 Brooklyn Marina
Estuary at One15° Brooklyn Marina always implements sustainable practices in their restaurant—it’s like Earth Day in NYC is every day here! This month they’re giving $1 of every Hurricane Copalli rum cocktail purchased to an environmental charity. They also host a monthly Green Drinks Brooklyn Happy Hour, led by Sierra Club President Ramon Cruz, where leading environmentalists and sustainability advocates convene to share goals and projects, and their kitchen oil is upcycled for biofuel.
Where: 159 Bridge Park Drive
When: Wednesday-Sunday 12 p.m. – 9 p.m. / Hurricane Copalli rum cocktail special now through the end of the month
14. Reduce food waste with a meal at Fat Choy
Chef Justin Lee at the Lower East Side eatery Fat Choy prepares his menu items in a way that reduces food waste. On the menu you’ll find dumplings made with repurposed cauliflower cores, scallion roots and ginger skins that are made into a flavor paste for fried rice, and peels and scraps turned into purees to be used as the base for dressings and sauces.
Where: 250 Broome St.
When: Tuesday-Thursday 12 p.m. – 8 p.m., Friday-Saturday 12 p.m. – 9 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
15. Enjoy a tasty meal at this restaurant inside a greenhouse at Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Yellow Magnolia Café is a restaurant built on forward-thinking sustainable practices. Chef Christina Sanchez-Towers harvests weekly in Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s lush gardens to create delicious hyper-seasonal menu, and she’s taking it to the next level for Earth Day. At this vegetable-focused restaurant you’ll find dishes like fire-roasted broccolini, an ancient grain bowl, and tasty tacos. (Please note: Admission to Brooklyn Botanic Garden is required to dine at Yellow Magnolia Café.)
Where: Brooklyn Botanic Garden
When: Tuesday-Sunday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.