Earth Day vs. Arbor Day: How are they different?

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Difference between Earth Day and Arbor Day

In the midst of the worldwide fervor for Earth Day, it is easy to forget about the existence of a holiday that came long before: Arbor Day. There was a time when the latter part of April heralded the impending arrival of this special day, which marked a remembrance of the Earth. While it is apparent that Earth Day is the environmental holiday of choice for today's generation of earth savers, a closer look at both should show them in a different light.

Earth Day
Arbor Day


Earth Day was the concept of Senator Gaylord Nelson and other environmental activists, who in 1969 introduced the event as a way to express concern over the environment. Particular focus was given to the human cost on the earth’s natural resources. As for Arbor Day, the event was introduced by J. Sterling Morton in April 1872 as a way to repopulate his native Nebraska with trees. The holiday began to be celebrated nationwide by 1888, and it was widely practiced for almost 100 years.


From the start, Arbor Day was intended to be a day for people to plant trees in their locality. It was first proposed as a tree-planting festival in Nebraska, and the practice spread to the other states within a few years. The holiday was traditionally participated in by school children, and it was common for parades and ceremonial plantings to take place as well. Earth Day on the other hand, started out as a protest demonstration or march. While it retains many of the heated displays of emotion and fervent calls to action, the holiday has also taken on a more celebratory atmosphere, and all over the world concerts and various other events packed with celebrities have come to characterize the day.


Earth Day and Arbor Day both fall on the same month, and their individual popularity would be contested if it weren’t for the fact that Earth Day is undoubtedly much more popular than Arbor Day is these days. In fact, Arbor Day seems to have largely fallen out of common practice in the entire country except for a very few cities. Earth Day on the other hand, is bigger than ever, and the celebrations just become more lavish every year. Earth Day has a lot more political support after all, and the marketing dollars that go behind it is simply too high a price to pay for the proponents of Arbor Day.


Earth Day

  • Celebrated in countries other than the United States
  • Started out in 1969 as a project of Senator Gaylord Nelson and other environmental activists
  • Intended as a means to express concern over the condition of the environment
  • Seeks to address the human threat to natural resources
  • Characterized by numerous activities
  • Enjoys a lot more political support than Arbor Day

Arbor Day

  • Characterized mainly by tree planting activities
  • Also involves various environment and “green” campaigns
  • First celebrated in April, 1872 in Nebraska
  • Established by J. Sterling Morton
  • Inspired by the lack of trees in the state
  • Celebrated throughout the country by 1888
  • Has largely fallen out of practice


comments 3 Comments

  • Alex . 3+ yrs. ago

Earth 🌏 day is much better than Arbor Day

  • jeff . 3+ yrs. ago

your wrong

  • \]]]]]will . 3+ yrs. ago

your wrong

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