Photo: John Bryan on Unsplash; Graphics: author

Helping you to plan a month of climate action

Every day is a day for something. In fact, there are so many observances, holidays and days of action that it’s impossible to keep track of them all.

I like to watch the days themed around the environment and sustainability. I find them a useful reminder of things outside of my direct experience, an opportunity to shine light on ecosystems, species or peoples who may normally be left in the dark.

Finding no single reliable list of these holidays, I decided to create one. I will curate this list, month by month, to ensure that everything important to us is on our radar.

The full list of events for January is below, but first I highlight some of the main things happening in the month. The year-long calendar can be found here.


The big thing happening in January is Veganuary. Whatever our position on veganism there is no denying that current industrial meat production is unsustainable. We could all stand to eat less meat.

This is where Veganuary comes in. The idea isn’t to turn everyone vegan, but to trial veganism for a month. It aims to show that an animal product free life is possible, and so reducing the amount of meat, dairy and other products that we consume can be easy for everyone

Veganuary is timed to coincide with the new year, resolutions, and the search for renewal that comes at this time. It is particularly relevant after a tough year, when our physical health is at the forefront of our minds… and the health of our planet should never be far from our thoughts.

Veganism aside, it’s a quiet month. January is also dedicated to walking your dog (isn’t every month?) and making changes to your home to be more energy-efficient.

In the US, National Bird Day falls on the 5th. In the UK, the big schools birdwatch was due to start on the same day, though this may be delayed depending how coronavirus affects the schools reopening.

Finally we have days for appreciating squirrels and zebras. One may be easier to appreciate up close than the other, but bonus points to anyone able to do both.

Everything Happening in January 2021

All month:

  • Veganuary (UK) — see also World Vegan Month and World Vegan Day, both in November
  • Big Energy Saving Winter (UK) replaces Big Energy Saving Week
  • Walk Your Dog Month (international)

Until 5 January: Walk in Winter (UK) replaces the Festival of Winter Walks — see also National Walking Month in May

5 January: National Bird Day (US) — see also World Migratory Bird Day in May and October

5 January to 22 February: Big Schools’ Birdwatch (UK)

11 to 17 January: Houseplant Week (UK) — see also National Indoor Plant Week in September

21 January: Squirrel Appreciation Day (international) and Red Squirrel Appreciation Day (UK)

31 January: International Zebra Day (international)

As a reminder, the full calendar for 2021 can be found here.

If you’re aware of any date changes, or any days I’ve missed, let me know in the comments or via social media.