Australia has some of the most unique natural landscapes around the world, populated by equally unique and iconic flora and fauna. Over the years, a number of days have been set aside to celebrate these natural wonders. The days are also an important reminder of how fragile these ecosystems and habitats are and our responsibility as stewards to protect and conserve them.
I have put together some of the key dates in the national calendar of green events to make it easier for people to plan and participate in their own events. The list below is not exhaustive and I will add to it as more events and dates arise.
|1st of March||Business Clean Up Day||Part of the Clean Up Australia Day campaign. Business Clean Up Day encourages businesses to register and help clean up the environment. Businesses need to pay a $150 in registration fees, with the funds going towards supporting the organisation and its volunteers. Once registration is complete, a cleaning kit is sent to the team leader containing bags and gloves to make the process easier.|
|6th of March||Clean Up Australia Day||Part of the Clean Up Australia Day campaign where members of the public get involved in cleaning up their local public spaces. Those interesting in participating are encouraged to register a clean up site online and then gather volunteers to assist in the cleaning up of that site. Once registration is complete, a cleaning kit is sent to the team leader containing bags and gloves to make the process easier.|
|19th of March||Earth Hour||Supported by WWF, Earth Hour seeks to generate public awareness about the impacts of climate change. The event encourages participants to switch off all non-essential electricity in their homes and businesses for one hour. This act is simple, yet, effective mechanism to reduce carbon footrpint. The event has evolved into an education campaign about the effects of climate change on food security, protecting natural habitats and has gained an international participation.|
|29th of July||Schools Tree Day||Part of Planet Ark’s campaign to encourage environmental stewardship in kindergarten, primary and high schools across Australia. Planet Ark provides a range of tool kits and educational resources. Given that many schools are now located in urban areas, the campaign has broadened to including urban sustainability programs such as vertical gardens.|
|31st of July||National Tree Day||Part of Planet Ark’s national campaign to encourage native tree planting in public spaces across Australia. Nearly 4 million Australians have taken part since 1996 and over 20 million trees have been planted.|
|13th – 21st of August||National Science Week||Annual celebration of science and technology, with over hundereds of events take place in various locations across the nation. The week is supported by the Australian Government, Commonwealth Science Industry and Research Organisation, Australian Broadcasting Corporation and the Australian Science Teachers Association.|
|22nd – 28th of August||Keep Australia Beautiful Week||This is an annual, week-long event that encourages people to keep the beautiful, natural environment clean. The campaign has broadened in scope and scale to include initiatives such as tidy towns and even sustainable cities.|
|1st of September||National Wattle Day||An annual event to celebrate one of the most iconic and versatile native plants in Australia. The organisers encourage people to plant wattles in public spaces.|
|All of September||National Biodiversity Month||The entire month of September is dedicated to conserving, protecting and improving biodiversity in Australia. A number of events such as backyard bio-blitz and robust scientific research are promoted during this month.|
|All of September||Save the Koalas||The entire month dedicated to one of the most popular and iconic Australian natives. The Australian Koala Foundation seeks to educate the public about the plight of koalas. The organisation encourages people to plant native trees (gumtrees), protect koala habitats and donate to support koala conservation and scientific research.|
|5th – 11th of September||National Landcare Week||An entire week dedicated for Landcare Australia. Various events happen during the week including native tree planting in public spaces with the support of Landcare.|
|7th of September||National Threatened Species Day||This day is a commemoration of the death of the last remaining Tasmanian Tiger. This is a national day to educate and raise the profile of threatened Australian native flora and fauna. National Threatened Species Day is a great opportunity to learn and connect with local flora and fauna species.|
|11th – 17th of September||Cool Australia Enviro Week||An entire week dedicated to connecting school children with the wonders of nature. Schools can register and students participate in activities such as creating an edible garden, vertical gardens, planting native flora, to recycling and cleaning litter.|
|11th of September||Sustainable House Day||This day encourages people to visit some of the best sustainable/eco homes across Australia. The day is an opportunity to learn and share ideas about eco-friendly homes and life-styles across Australia.|
|11th of September||National Bilby Day||This day aims to raise awareness about the plight of bilbies across Australia. The public can fundraise to support conservation and research efforts focussed on saving bilbies.|
|17th – 23rd of October||Aussie Backyard Bird Count||An entire week that seeks to encourage members of the public to participate in bird counting surveys in their backyard. The citizen science data collection is made easier by the availability of an app for smart phones. Many local councils support the Aussie Backyard Bird Count.|
|7th – 13th of November||National Recycling Week||Part of Planet Ark’s campaign. The goal of the week is to encourage recycling and educating the public about the environmental benefits of waste reduction.|
22nd of April: World Earth Day
This is one of the longest running environmental event, which began in 1970 to direct attention to the environmental degradation happening all around the world. Today, the focus of World Earth Day remains the same, but the movement has gained a global following.