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Earth Week 2024

Preserve, Protect, Prosper

Join King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks as we celebrate the 54th Anniversary of Earth Day!

Earth Week 2024 - Preserve, Protect, Prosper

It's our favorite day of the year, a time to celebrate the work our employees perform year-round to protect and restore the places that make King County such a spectacular place to live. It's also an opportunity to show the types of personal actions — both big and small — we can all take to practice environmental stewardship for the people, salmon, wildlife, water, parks, trails, and natural lands of our region.

While Earth Day comes around only once a year, the small daily actions we can each take to protect and restore our natural environment add up. Join us April 20-27, as we spotlight Earth-friendly activities that can make a difference every day of the year. Explore volunteer events, show your love for the outdoors, reduce your waste, take public transportation, walk, run, roll, or bike on our regional trails, and more.

Let's keep working together each day to preserve and protect the natural environment that connects us all.


These natural and chemical-free tips will help you maintain a thriving garden while reducing your exposure to toxic chemicals.

  • Upgrade your soil health: Mixing compost in with your existing soil is an easy way to support healthy plant growth.
  • Weed by hand to avoid harmful herbicides: Ditch the chemicals and consider using tools like long-handled weed pullers for easier weed removal.
  • Choose natural pest control methods: When dealing with pests, opt for organic pesticides if necessary and consider natural pest control methods like introducing beneficial insects.

Remember, these practices not only benefit your garden but also contribute to a safer and healthier environment for your community and the ecosystem.

Get your hands dirty and help keep parks and trails in tip-top shape. Join King County Parks for one of our volunteer events happening all year round.

After surpassing our goal to plant 1 Million Trees, we launched 3 Million Trees to increase urban tree canopy, protect forestland that’s absorbing carbon now, and prepare forests for climate impacts. At a volunteer event you might help remove invasive species and noxious weeds in natural areas to create more room to plant trees and for existing trees to thrive.

Join us on April 27 for a volunteer event to improve forest health along Taylor Creek in Skyway Park. Register online.

Join volunteers at a restoration event in Burien on Saturday, April 20. During this Earth Week event, we’ll be mulching, weeding and picking up litter to help support healthy streams for salmon. Register online.

Protecting our planet

DIY cleaners are not only effective but also safer and less toxic compared to store-bought cleaners. Common household items like vinegar, baking soda, and lemon can be used to create powerful cleaning solutions that are gentle on the environment and your health. These homemade cleaners can tackle tough stains, eliminate odors, and disinfect surfaces just as effectively as their commercial counterparts. Additionally, DIY cleaners are cost-effective, as they use ingredients that are often already available in your pantry. Making the switch to homemade cleaners can help reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals and create a healthier living environment for you and your family.

The weeds on your property make seeds and can spread into natural areas, but you can prevent this by pulling your weeds before they can make seeds. Start by learning what plants you have on your property, then you can really get into the weeds.

Learn more about springtime weed management.

Don’t wait to inflate! Checking your tire pressure monthly helps drivers stay safer, save money – and save coho salmon.

A highly toxic rubber preservative in tire wear particles called 6PPD-q is killing local coho salmon at an alarming rate. As tires wear, they shed tire particles called tire crumb or dust that wash off roads into waters. Local researchers, Washington Department of Ecology and tire manufacturers are working on new formulations to address the issue, but solutions will take time – and coho can’t wait.

So don’t wait to inflate! Tires maintained monthly at their ideal air pressure wear longer, reducing the rate of toxic pollutants released.

Choosing reusable items is a great way you can contribute to King County’s Re+ initiative to reinvent the region’s waste management system, and reduce the amount of stuff going to our landfill by 70% by 2030.

We’ve partnered with businesses throughout King County to help reduce waste from single-use cups. Join the BYOC campaign by bringing your own reusable cup to coffee shops, celebrating reuse efforts in your community!

Find participating BYOC businesses and coffeeshops throughout King County.

Woman disposing food in a solid waste pickup bin for materials that can be composted Chances are, you've wasted food before. It's estimated food waste is more than 20% of what gets sent to King County's landfill. Buying more than you need, forgetting about leftovers, and improper food storage can lead to food ending up in the compost, or worse, the trash. Here are some helpful tips for reducing how much food ends up in the garbage or compost bin.

  • Shop your refrigerator first. Set up a “use first” bin and place it at the front of your refrigerator.
  • Make a shopping list and take stock of what you already have before you go to the store.
  • Plan meals in advance and prepare perishable foods soon after shopping.
  • Store items properly to keep food fresh longer. Our food storage guide has the best ways to store common foods.

Check out Food: Too Good to Waste for more great food waste prevention ideas.

The Wastemobile will be making stops across King County throughout 2024, offering a free and convenient disposal solution for household hazardous waste, including batteries, motor oil, oil-based paint, and pesticides. Visit our website for a full list of accepted materials and to find out when the Wastemobile will be in your area.

Preserving natural systems

King County and partners will celebrate the recently completed Fall City Floodplain Restoration Project, the largest project of its kind in King County’s history that is simultaneously reducing flood risks, improving salmon habitat, and protecting farmland. King County completed the levee removal and side channel construction at a 145-acre Snoqualmie River habitat restoration site, just downstream from Fall City. A significant barrier to salmon recovery on the Snoqualmie River is a lack of good juvenile rearing habitat. The results have been immediate with more area to store flood water and new side channels for salmon habitat and rearing.

This aerial view of the Fall City restoration project shows the increase capacity for flood storage and the new side channels that will support fish habitat.


Spread the message and let your friends, family, and neighbors know what you’re doing to honor Earth Day. You can also tag us on social media to let us know!