Since 1970, Earth Day has been a catalyst for ongoing education, action, and change.  Our mission is to carry the enthusiasm and spirit of Earth Day into the 21st Century to meet today's environmental challenges.

Earth Day Initiative is a 501(c)(3) organization that promotes environmental awareness and solutions through partnerships with schools, community organizations, businesses, and governments.  We do so through year-round programs as well as our annual Earth Day events.

What is Earth Day?

Earth Day is an annual event celebrated around the world when people take time to appreciate humankind's connection to the Earth and to raise awareness of our environmental challenges.  From workshops to volunteer trips and craft projects to major environmental clean-ups, individuals and organizations of all sizes take part in Earth Day activities.

What can you do for Earth Day?

First, you can start by making a super simple change that will have a big impact!  Our Do Just 1 Thing campaign gives a simple answer to the question "What can I do to make a differnece?"  If you're looking for group activities, check out some of our toolkits on clean energy and food.

What's the history of Earth Day?

Earth Day began in 1970 when a perfect storm of public awareness, political will, and dedicated activism converged to create one of the largest demonstrations in human history.  More than 10,000 events engaged 20 million people across America.  Everyone from housewives to Hollywood actors took part in the first Earth Day events.  Over the years, Earth Day has continued as an annual call to action from classrooms to board rooms.  The inclusiveness of the first Earth Day has only grown as Earth Day events have spread around the world.   

Our organization was founded by a broad coalition of environmental groups to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Earth Day in New York City in 1990.  We organized the largest event ever held in Central Park and every year since then have organized large-scale events in landmark locations.  We have also grown into year-round programs and partnerships that all aim to bring the enthusiasm and spirit of Earth Day into our daily lives to meet the environmental challenges of the 21st Century.

When is Earth Day?

Earth Day takes place every spring on April 22.


Executive Staff

John Oppermann, Executive Director

John is Executive Director of Earth Day Initiative.  John manages the breadth of Earth Day Initiative's activities, from its annual Earth Day events to its year-round programs, which include a classroom gardens program and a sustainable food toolkit aimed at high school students.  Prior to joining Earth Day Initiative, John worked in both corporate law and energy and climate change policy.  He has experience coordinating and researching projects focused on the national electricity grid, renewable energy legislation, and international conservation regulation.  He has published his work on Latin America’s role in global deforestation talks.  He is also a licensed real estate broker who focuses on green residential real estate options.  John graduated with a B.S. in International Politics from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.



Earth Day Initiative Executive Director, John Oppermann

Earth Day Initiative Executive Director, John Oppermann

Earth Day Initiative Founder and President, Pamela Lippe

Earth Day Initiative Founder and President, Pamela Lippe

Pamela Lippe, Founder and President

Pam is an innovative professional with 15 years of experience as a green-building consultant and over 35 years in the environmental and communication fields.  Through e4, her green-building consulting firm, she was the consultant to the Durst Organization on the first “green” skyscraper built in the US.  She continues to work on most Durst projects, including the new 2.2 million square-foot Bank of America Tower at 1 Bryant Park, which achieved LEED Platinum certification. 

Pam serves as President of the Earth Day Initiative board.  Going back to the 20th anniversary celebration of Earth Day in 1990, which engaged roughly two million people, Pam annually helps to organize the largest Earth Day events in the country.  Since 1996, Earth Day Initiative has aimed a number of its educational campaigns at the real-estate community, including the Lessons Learned publications, which have been well received throughout the industry.  Pam was one of the co-founders of Earth Day Network and regularly launches Earth Day programs that reach well beyond New York.



We extend our sincere appreciation to all of our funding partners.  We could not do what we do to broaden the environmental community and support the ongoing and important work of a wide range of environmental groups without their support.  You can find out more about some of our funding partners on our sponsors page.



Pamela Lippe

President (e4, inc.)

William Haines

Chairman (Bromley Companies)

Jim Tripp

Secretary (Environmental Defense Fund)

Lou Riccio

Treasurer (Columbia University)

Sarah Currie-Halpern

Board Member (Think Zero)

Lee Coker

Board Member (Oak Hill)

Douglas Durst

Board Member (The Durst Organization)

Eric Goldstein

Board Member (Natural Resources Defense Council)

Fred Kent

Board Member (Project for Public Spaces)

Peggy Shepard

Board Member (WE ACT for Environmental Justice)

Tracy Stein

Board Member 

Damon Torres

Board Member (Robocast)

Chris Wangro

Board Member (GreeNow)