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The Reader’s Digest Earth Day Quiz

Just how well do you know our planet? To mark Earth Day on April 22, put your knowledge of our natural environment to the test.

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Earth Day Quiz - Question 1Photo: Shutterstock/Brett Walther

Earth Day Quiz

1. Approximately how many people participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the world’s largest secular observance?

A: 500 million
B: One billion
C: Three billion

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Father and son planting treePhoto: Max kegfire /


BOne billion

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Earth Day Quiz - Question 2Photo: Shutterstock/Brett Walther

2. Immersing yourself mindfully in nature is known in Japan as “Shinrin-Yoku.” What does this literally mean?

A: “Forest bathing”
B: “Going green”
C: “Returning to your roots”

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Earth Day Quiz - Forest BathingPhoto: JudeAnd /


A – “Forest bathing”

Here’s where you’ll find the oldest trees in Canada.

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Earth Day Quiz - Question 3Photo: Shutterstock/Brett Walther

3. It’s hard to recycle plastic that’s dirty, low-value or mis-sorted. So, even though many of us put our plastic waste in the blue bin, what percentage of it actually gets recycled?

A: Around 50%
B: Around 22%
C: Around 9%

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Earth Day Quiz - Blue Box for RecyclingPhoto: Shutterstock


C – Around 9%. Reducing single-use plastics would be more effective.

Find out how you can green-up your daily grooming routine.

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Earth Day Quiz - Question 4Photo: Shutterstock/Brett Walther

4. Globally, 2020 was the hottest year so far on record.

True or false?

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Earth Day Quiz - Climate Change Polar Bear on Melting Ice CapsPhoto: Shutterstock


True—2020 tied with 2016 as the hottest year on record.

Did you know that Canada is heating up twice as fast as the world’s average? Find out how climate change is making you sick.

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Earth Day Quiz - Question 5Photo: Shutterstock/Brett Walther

5. The adorable sea slug known as the leaf sheep is unusual for an animal because it can get energy how?

A: By desalinating sea water.
B: From photosynthesis.
C: By dissolving plastic.

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Earth Day Quiz - Sea SlugPhoto: Shutterstock


B – From photosynthesis.

Find out what Canada’s ban on single-use plastics means for Canadians—and the environment.

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Earth Day Quiz - Question 6Photo: Shutterstock/Brett Walther

6. In 2015, which country became the first to outlaw planned obsolescence?

A: Rwanda
B: The Netherlands
C: France

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Le Marais Paris - Place des VosgesPhoto: Shutterstock


C – France

Here’s a sobering look at the real cost of same-day delivery.

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Earth Day Quiz - Question 7Photo: Shutterstock/Brett Walther

7. What animal’s population plunged from roughly 60 million in 1800 to less than 1,000 in 1889?

A: The plains bison
B: The western lowland gorilla
C: The Asian elephant

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Earth Day Quiz - Plains BisonPhoto: Shutterstock


A – The plains bison.

Read up on the organization that’s preserving Canada’s botanical heritage.

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Earth Day Quiz - Question 8Photo: Shutterstock/Brett Walther

8. What weather event happens when moonlight is refracted through water droplets in the air?

A: A worm moon
B: A moonbow
C: Spectral fog

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Earth Day Quiz - MoonbowPhoto: Shutterstock


B – A moonbow, also known as a lunar rainbow.

Find out the best places for stargazing across Canada.

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Earth Day Quiz - Question 9Photo: Shutterstock/Brett Walther

9. Most old-growth forests on Canada’s West Coast are protected from logging.

True or false?

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Earth Day Quiz - B.C. Old-Growth ForestPhoto: Shutterstock


False. Read up on the long battle to save B.C.’s old-growth forests.

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Earth Day Quiz - Question 10Photo: Shutterstock/Brett Walther

10. In what year did the first Earth Day take place?

A: 1966
B: 1970
C: 1974

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Earth Day is April 22Photo: Shutterstock


B – 1970

Here are 15 history questions people always get wrong.

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Earth Day Quiz - Question 11Photo: Shutterstock

11. Around what proportion of the world’s fisheries are currently pushed beyond their biological limits?

A: One third
B: One fifth
C: 10%

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Earth Day Quiz - OverfishingPhoto: Shutterstock


A – One third.

Get to know Canada’s electric car targets, and what they mean for the average Canadian.

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Earth Day Quiz - Question 12Photo: Shutterstock/Brett Walther

12. Who wrote, “We forget that we don’t need everything… material things satisfy human beings only so much”?

A: David Attenborough
B: Greta Thunberg and Francisco Vera
C: David Suzuki and Holly Dressel

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Earth Day Quiz - David SuzukiPhoto: Art Babych /


C – David Suzuki and Holly Dressel.

Don’t miss these green cleaning tips for the bathroom.

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Earth Day Quiz - Question 13Photo: Shutterstock/Brett Walther

13. So far, how many mass extinction events have there been in earth’s history?

A: None
B: One
C: Five

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Earth Day Quiz - Dinosaur BonesPhoto: Shutterstock


C – Five

Take a look back at the worst natural disasters in Canada’s history.

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Earth Day Quiz - Question 14Photo: Shutterstock/Brett Walther

14. In which country could you visit the Whanganui River, which has been granted legal personhood and rights?

A: South Africa
B: New Zealand
C: China

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Earth Day Quiz - Whanganui RiverPhoto: Shutterstock


B – New Zealand

Read up on the efforts to save New Zealand’s endangered kiwi bird.

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Earth Day Quiz - Question 15Photo: Shutterstock/Brett Walther

15. Who described earth as “a brilliant jewel in the black velvet sky”?

A: Astronaut Buzz Aldrin
B: Environmentalist Jane Goodall
C: Musician Sting

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Earth Day quiz - Earthrise from moon surfacePhoto: Shutterstock


A – Astronaut Buzz Aldrin

If you enjoyed this Earth Day quiz, see how well you fare on our Canadian trivia challenge.