The second Sunday in May is set aside as Mother's Day, but every April, Mother Nature gets her fair share of attention.
Today marks the 42nd anniversary of the original Earth Day (known internationally as International Mother Earth Day), which was founded April 22, 1970, by then-Sen. Gaylord Nelson (D-Wis.).
Chattanooga-area organizations and businesses have programs slated this weekend emphasizing environmental responsibility and activism.
Because Earth Day this year coincides with Easter weekend and Good Friday, some groups have opted to host events early or delay them. Both the Chattanooga Zoo and Tennessee Aquarium host a Party for the Planet each Earth Day, but the zoo celebrated early and the aquarium is delaying its event until April 30.
Although its main celebration will not fall on Earth Day, the aquarium hosts environmental awareness programs throughout the year. Communications director Thom Benson said he is heartened by how the outreach activities are attracting younger participants.
"It's funny because the kids get really excited and try to beat each other to pick up a piece of trash," he said, referring to the aquarium's Walk the Talk activity as part of Party for the Planet.
"Seeing the little ones picking up trash ... or seeing parents taking little kids to the recycling center is great because they really do pick up on those habits," he added. "That's encouraging. Any of these activities that make it fun and keep it exciting are all good."
If you can't wait until April 30, here are seven ways to show the planet you care this weekend.
1) Build a pot from recycled newspapers, learn to build a rain barrel and see an educational show featuring birds of prey.
2) Get credit toward new clothing by trading in used boots or denim and leather items. Gently used pieces will be donated to local charities.
"This is our third year or fourth year. We started it ... to encourage our customers to recycle and be aware of their impact. We wanted a fun way to tie in the theme of Earth Day with being more aware of your place in the world." - Kari Hoisington, Thunder Creek's clothing manager.
3) Hear from local conservation groups, watch aquatic sports demonstrations and exchange used outdoor sporting gear.
4) Bring a dish to a communal potluck dinner and learn about the importance of soil and its preservation through a screening of the documentary "Dirt! The Movie."
5) Learn how a little oil can contaminate 1,000 gallons of water and get tips on keeping local water supplies clean. Afterward, help stomp the jugs for recycling.
6) Watch two families of wild felines struggle to survive in the Disney Nature documentary "African Cats."
7) Take part in free Earth Day weekend workshops on eco-friendly gardening, energy- and water-efficient appliances or building a kid-friendly Earth Day planter basket.