Earth Day Tool Shed | 2021 | Desert Botanical Garden


Celebrate Earth Day throughout the month of April with Desert Botanical Garden. The theme of this year’s Earth Day is Restore Our Earth. Learn about a variety of ways you and your family can help preserve nature and be a good steward to the environment. The Tool Shed will be updated weekly. Topics include climate change, sustainable gardening, regenerative agriculture, citizen science, cleanup projects and more. 

Hit the Trails!

An Earth-Day Self-Guided Tour

This all-new Earth Day self-guided Garden-wide tour explores how desert plants adapt to survive and thrive in the hot, dry desert. See how the Garden finds solutions for sustainable living and more.

Rise to the Challenge

Commit and Make a Difference

This year, honor our planet by making a commitment to positive change. Whether you make one change or ten, your personal impact can make a massive difference. Plus, you’re in good company–advocates and organizations from around the world are right beside you making a pledge.

Green Design Your Garden

Sustainable Landscapes

Sustainable landscapes are responsive, re-generative and can contribute to healthy communities. Learn how to create landscapes that lead to a sustainable future.

No-Bake Earth Day Cupcakes

Make The World Better One Cupcake at a Time

Enjoy this earth inspired no-bake cupcake recipe that may not save the world, but is certainly a fun way to inspire the kids in your life to learn more about Earth Day.

DIY Reusable Paper Towels

Reduce, Reuse, Reinvigorate

Tired of buying paper towels? You’re not alone. Jessica Bui of The Orange Home shares her easy and delightfully sustainable guide to DIY reusable paper towels. Bonus: neutral tie-dye? Yes, please.

Summer Landscaping

Summer-Sustainable Gardens

It’s only April, but sizzling temperatures are approaching quickly. Get your garden summer-ready with these April planting and preparation tips.

Saguaros Under Threat

A Disappearing Icon

No feature of the Sonoran Desert is more recognizable than the iconic saguaro cactus. Learn why these desert sentinels are under threat and what the Garden is doing to counteract their disappearance.

Bloom Update

Spring is here and the Garden is officially in bloom. Fit for an Earth Day celebration, here are a few plants that wanted to stop by and say hello.

Reduce your Impact

Calculating Your Carbon Footprint

Many of your daily household habits–energy use, transportation, waste disposal, etc., cause greenhouse gas emissions, which make up your carbon footprint. Explore this simple exercise to understand your carbon footprint and how to offset it.

2021 City Nature Challenge

Starting April 30 through May 3, Metro Phoenix EcoFlora project will host a 2021 City Nature Challenge. This is a global effort to observe and document as much urban biodiversity as possible while engaging in community science. Using a free app called iNaturalist, anyone can get involved and share their observations anywhere from neighborhoods to local parks. Metro Phoenix Ecoflora is a community initiative of Desert Botanical Garden and the Central Arizona Conservation Alliance.

Phoenix City Nature Challenge 2021
Learn More

This is the first year the Greater Phoenix Area will participate in the challenge, which is co-hosted with City of Chandler Community Services and Educating Children Outdoors.

To join the project and participate in the challenge, visit or download the iNaturalist app. Once you have created a login, search for the City Nature Challenge Greater Phoenix Area Project and join. Then, find plants and wildlife, take photos and share observations with the project. The app will even help you identify what you have seen. Everything you share will automatically be included in the challenge and count toward our city’s total. The cities with the most observations, most species, and most participants will be announced on May 10.

April is also Citizen Science Month and the Greater Phoenix organizers will provide opportunities throughout the month for participants to receive training, enjoy events and learn more about urban biodiversity.

While practicing social distancing, wearing a mask and following recommended safety guidelines, the 2021 City Nature Challenge is a great way to spend time and de-stress while learning about urban biodiversity. Click here for more information on Ecoflora and details on how to become a Citizen Scientist. Learn more about the challenge at

The City Nature Challenge is organized on a global scale by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the California Academy of Sciences.

Outdoor activity of the week

Everyone can play a part to assure there is no litter left on the Valley’s beautiful hiking trails. Grab the family and challenge yourself to collect as much trash as you can.
Clean Trail = Happy Quail

With spring in full swing, more people can be found enjoying nature and on Phoenix’s many beautiful hiking trails. With increased trail usage comes increased litter and human waste. Practicing the seven ‘leave no trace’ principles is a great way to ensure trails are kept in pristine condition for everyone to enjoy–especially the animals who call it home. The seven principles are:


  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What you Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Others
Everyone can play a part to assure there is no litter left on trails. Check with local parks, Keep Nature Wild or the Garden’s friends at CAZCA to source trail clean-up opportunities. This great activity is great for folks of any age, including families with kids.

Plant-Based Recipes

Celebrate Earth Day with two delectable plant-based recipes courtesy of Gertrude’s Restaurant.
Carrot Hummus
Carrot Hummus


  • 1 lb. Carrots, peeled, tops removed, cut in 2 inch chunks
  • ½ cup Garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 ea 15.5 ounce can Garbanzo Beans, drained (reserve the liquid)
  • 2 Tbsp. Tahini
  • 1 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Turmeric, powdered
  • Pinch Ginger, powdered
  • 1 Lemon, juiced
  • 2 Tbsp. Virgin Olive Oil (try infused oil for more flavor enhancement)
  • ½ cup Jicama, peeled and thinly sliced
  • ½ cup Carrots, peeled and thinly sliced


  1. Toss the carrot chunks and garlic cloves in a small amount of olive oil and season with salt.
  2. Bake in a covered pan at 350˚ for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until very tender, cool completely.
  3. Place the carrots and garlic, garbanzos, tahini, salt, turmeric, ginger and lemon juice in a food processor. Process until smooth scraping the bowl once or twice.
  4. Add the olive oil and pulse to incorporate. If necessary, add a small amount of the reserved liquid from the garbanzos and pulse to achieve the desired consistency.
  5. Chill the hummus and enjoy with iced jicama and carrot slices. Yield: 1 lb. 12 oz.

Roasted Tomato Gazpacho


  • 4 Cans Roasted Tomatoes
  • 4 Cans Tomato Juice
  • 4 Bell Peppers, Chunked
  • 6 Seedless Cucumbers, Chunked
  • 1.5 Cup Sherry Vinegar
  • 1.5 Cup Peeled Garlic
  • 1 Cup Olive Oil
  • Salt to taste


Combine everything into a 22 qt. bowl. Blend with a stick blender until mostly smooth–no chunks should remain.

Get Colorful

Get your creativity on with three new botanical coloring sheets. Drag the images below to your desktop and print! Or, import them into your favorite software program to begin.
Earth Day DBG Coloring Sheet
Earth Day DBG Coloring Sheet
Earth Day DBG Coloring Sheet

Join us

Be inspired by #EarthDayAtHome with these images from around the world.

discover more

Craving more Earth Day content? Check out these great sites!