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Earth Day 2023

Love, Protect, Restore

Join King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks as we celebrate the 53rd Anniversary of Earth Day!

Earth Day 2023: Love, Protect, Restore

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 we can all take – both big and small – 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 actions we each take to love, protect, and restore our natural environment add up. Join us April 17-22, 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 love, protect, and restore the natural environment that connects us all.

Love what makes King County so special

Tree planting

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 volunteers at a restoration event in Burien on Saturday, April 22. On Earth Day, we’ll be mulching and weeding to help young trees and native plants grow around Miller and Walker creeks. Register 

Pouring compost on a tomato plant to provide fertilizer in the garden

No matter where you are in your yard or garden planning process, these tips will help you keep your garden and yard care practices thriving and reduce your – and the earth’s - exposure to toxic chemicals.

  • Upgrade your soil with compost. Use compost to build healthy soil that will help your plants, grass, or edible gardens thrive.
  • Weed by hand. Hand pulling weeds prevents exposure to harmful chemical products. Using tools like long-handed weed pullers and hoe-style weeders may also help make the job a little easier.
  • Try out “grasscycling.” Start mowing about 2 inches high and leave the clippings behind as a no-cost, chemical-free fertilizer. This is called “grasscycling,” and does not cause fungal diseases.

Keeping these tips in mind, you can breathe easier knowing your yard, your neighborhood, and King County’s waterways and ecosystems will be safer and healthier. Read more on our website.

Woman choosing a cleaning product from many at the grocery storeThe best way to reduce your family’s exposure to potentially harmful materials is to choose home and garden products that don’t contain toxic chemicals. One easy way to choose safer products is to look at the label. Choose products that do not have the words CAUTION, WARNING, DANGER, or POISON.

Learn more about reading labels and how to make DIY cleaners with ingredients you likely already have at home.

Protecting our planet

Consider swapping out a car trip to instead take public transit or ride a bike.

September 22 is World Car-Free Day! (
Couple riding bikes on Sammamish River Trail surrounded by grassy fields and trees

When it feels like it’s all doom and gloom, what can YOU, as one person, do to have a real impact and reduce greenhouse gas emissions?

We’ve got seven ideas to get you started.

What YOU can do: To reduce greenhouse gas emissions  – Keeping King County Green

People at a repair event fixing things like household appliances and worn clothingDid you know about 70% of the garbage that goes to King County’s landfill could be reused, recycled, or composted? King County’s Solid Waste Division launched Re+ this year, a roadmap to building a healthier environment and keeping materials in use and out of the landfill. 

One easy way to keep your own household items in use longer is to bring them to an upcoming community repair event. King County hosts regular free repair events where skilled volunteers try to repair or mend your broken personal or household items.

Upcoming repair events include:

Weeds don’t obey property lines. 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 in the noxious weed program’s 2023 blog post

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.
  • Plans 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.

Woman disposing food in a solid waste pickup bin for materials that can be composted While many in King County might throw their food and yard scraps in their compost bins, some don’t use or have access to curbside compost pickup.

We’re hosting a survey through April 30 to hear your input about new ways to help for King County residents manage their food waste. The survey will help inform policies and programs related to curbside food and yard waste collection.

Man disposing of an old propane tank at a hazardous waste collection facility

The Wastemobile is collection service that travels to select King County communities and provides residents a convenient place closer to home to take their household hazardous waste - like batteries, pesticides, motor oil, and more. There is no fee to use this service. You can view a list of accepted materials and find out when the Wastemobile will be in your neighborhood.

You can view a list of accepted materials and find out when the Wastemobile will be in your neighborhood.

Restoring natural systems

Sammamish RiverIn partnership with Mid Sound Fishery Enhancement Group, King County Parks has been removing Himalayan Blackberry and planting along the Sammamish River, part of the “Locks to Lakes Corridor.”

King County and partners will celebrate the completion of a major restoration project along the Cedar River that will reduce flood risks, improve habitat for Chinook salmon, and provide sustenance to southern resident orcas.

Cedar River with large wood placed in the water to provide healthy aquatic habitat

Volunteer to help with the Riverbend restoration project.


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!