Earth Day Trivia and Fun Facts for Students of All Ages

These Earth Day trivia questions and answers are perfect for teaching kids — and adults — of all ages about the annual holiday.

Sophie Hirsh - Author

Apr. 19 2024, Updated 9:09 a.m. ET

Earth Day Trivia Questions and Answers
Source: iStock

If you're looking to teach your students or children more about Earth Day in honor of Earth Day 2024, a great way is through trivia questions and answers.

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You might consider starting each day leading up to the holiday with one of these trivia questions written on the blackboard; or, block off a lesson to share all of these questions with your students on Earth Day (or rather, the day before the holiday, since Earth Day falls on a Saturday this year).

Keep reading for some trivia questions and answers about Earth Day past and present, as well as related questions and answers about climate change and planet Earth. These will leave your students with plenty of fun facts to share with their friends and family on the April 22 holiday.

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Earth Day Protest
Source: Getty Images

Young climate activists stage a “die-in” in Lafayette Park across from the White House on Earth Day on April 22, 2022 in Washington, D.C.

Here are trivia questions about the first Earth Day.

  1. When was the first Earth Day held?
  2. How many people across the U.S. participated in the first Earth Day?
  3. Who started Earth Day?
  4. What 1962 book about pesticides helped inspire the first Earth Day?
  5. What city was the first Earth Day based in?
  6. What actors addressed the crowd in that city during the first Earth Day?
  7. What government agency was created in late 1970, in response to the first Earth Day?
  8. Which president created that agency?
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And here are the answers.

  1. The first Earth Day was on April 22, 1970.
  2. An estimated 20 million people took part in the first Earth Day across the nation. The day was largely a protest of government inaction on environmental issues.
  3. Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin is recognized as the founder of the first Earth Day. Activist Denis Hayes was the holiday's National Coordinator and planned the first Earth Day along with Nelson — and Hayes still works in environmental advocacy today.
  4. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson is known for helping inspire the environmental movement, which led to the first Earth Day.
  5. The first Earth Day saw protests across the U.S., with its central protest in New York City.
  6. Actors Paul Newman and Ali McGraw spoke to the Earth Day protesters in NYC's Union Square.
  7. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  8. President Richard Nixon.
First Earth Day
Source: Getty Images

A band performs in front of a large crowd during the Earth Day celebrations in New York City, on April 22, 1970.

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Here are trivia questions about our planet's natural resources, from oceans to rainforests.

  1. Where does most of our oxygen come from?
  2. What percent of the Earth do rainforests cover?
  3. What percent of the Earth did rainforests once cover?
  4. How many trees is planet Earth home to?
  5. Ice covers what percent of the Earth's surface?
  6. How many glaciers are there on the planet?
  7. Which is the largest glacier on Earth?
  8. How many species are at risk of extinction?

And here are the answers.

  1. The ocean. In fact, around half of the oxygen production on Earth comes from the ocean, as per the NOAA.
  2. Today, rainforests cover about 6 percent of the Earth.
  3. Rainforests previously covered 14 percent of the Earth, but human development deforestation has caused that number to shrink, as per National Geographic.
  4. There are an estimated 3 trillion trees on our planet, according to research published by Yale in 2015.
  5. Ice covers 10 percent of the Earth's surface, according to NASA — but it's melting, due to global heating.
  6. There are about 200,000 glaciers on Earth, as per Scientific American.
  7. Seller Glacier is known as the planet's largest glacier. It is found on the Antarctic Peninsula and is about 20 nautical miles long and 4 nautical miles wide — bigger than the state of Delaware.
  8. An estimated 1 million animal and plant species are at risk of extinction, as per a 2019 UN report.
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Amazon Rainforest
Source: Getty Images

Amazon rainforest trees stand above a lone settlement as seen from a transport riverboat in the Brazilian Amazon from Maues to Manaus on Nov. 27, 2013 in Amazonas State, Brazil.

Here are trivia questions about climate change that you can share on Earth Day.

  1. Who coined the term global warming?
  2. When did human-caused climate change start?
  3. What are the leading causes of the climate crisis?
  4. Which greenhouse gas is the most potent?
  5. Which year was the hottest on record?
  6. What is the goal that countries all around the world are working towards as part of the Paris Agreement?
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And here are the answers.

  1. The phrase global warming was first recorded in 1975, when geochemist Wallace Broecker used it in an article for the journal Science, as per NASA. Wallace Broecker passed away in 2019, after decades of being known as the "grandfather" of climate science.
  2. A 2016 study believes that industrial-era global warming began in the 1830s.
  3. A few of the most significant contributors to the climate crisis are: fossil fuel use (for electricity, heat production, industry, transportation, buildings, and more), agriculture (namely, animal agriculture), and deforestation.
  4. Fluorinated gases are known as both the most potent and longest lasting greenhouse gases that human activities emit. The four principal fluorinated gases are hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), as per the EPA.
  5. According to NASA, the years 2020 and 2016 are tied for the hottest years on record. The New York Times asserts that 2016 slightly hotter, and the last eight years were the hottest years on record — meaning we have a lot of work to do.
  6. The 196 parties to the Paris Agreement (representing nearly every country on Earth) have a shared goal to keep the increase in the global average temperature to below 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, by the year 2030.
Earth Day Protest
Source: Getty Images

Young climate activists stage rally in Lafayette Park across from the White House on Earth Day on April 22, 2022 in Washington, D.C.

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Here are trivia questions about Earth Day 2024.

  1. Who organizes Earth Day?
  2. What is the mission of the organization behind Earth Day?
  3. How many partner organizations does that organization work with?
  4. What is the theme of Earth Day 2024?
  5. What was the theme of Earth Day last year?
  6. What is the best way to observe Earth Day?

And here are the answers.

  1. The organization is the official organizer of Earth Day each year.
  2.'s mission is: "to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide."
  3. works with over 150,000 partners — spanning at least 192 countries.
  4. The official theme for Earth Day 2024 is “Planet vs. Plastic.”
  5. Trick question! Earth Day 2022 and 2023 actually had the same official theme of "Invest in Our Planet."
  6. There are endless ways you can observe Earth Day, and the official Earth Day organization has a map of Earth Day events around the world, which range from protests and climate teach-ins to trash cleanups and ceremonies. But don't forget — the first Earth Day was a protest, and now is more important than ever to keep that spirit alive.

This article, originally published on April 11, 2023, has been updated.

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