Did you know Earth Day is coming up on April 22nd? While we should think about our Earth every day, there is something special about setting aside a day to celebrate mother nature and vow to look after our collective home. Children who are instilled with a love and appreciation for nature from a young age grow up to care for their environment. Here are three ways to roll up your sleeves and get down to earth!
Get a group together and organize a clean up. Using gloves and large garbage bags, pick up litter found around your neighborhood. Turn on some good music, bring some water and snacks, and this will feel more like a block party than a big job! Not only does this beautify your community, but it also prevents litter from getting into storm drains and emptying into rivers, lakes and oceans. If it’s on the street it could end up in Earth’s waters. What a perfect way to build pride in your common outdoor spaces, connect with neighbors, spend time outside, and celebrate Earth Day!
To take this activity to the next level, have children tally up the type of garbage they find as they collect. Cans? Candy wrappers? What is the most common type of litter in your neighborhood and how can you address that problem the rest of the year? Don’t forget to take lots of photos!
Select a day and have your family collect all of the garbage they produce throughout the day. Each family member puts their garbage in a clear trash bag. Discuss the most common types of garbage you have collected. Look out for materials that are especially harmful to our planet, such as plastic. Then challenge yourselves to reduce your waste for a day. Ideas can include reusable containers and bottles, bringing your own bags when shopping, using scrap paper and avoiding plastic cutlery. Compare both days. How much garbage were you able to reduce?
Try on a green thumb - you might be better at caring for plants than you think! Take a trip to a local garden center and let your kid pick something you can plant at home. Have a special planting party while you dig and add some greenery to your landscape!
Don’t have a lawn? Maybe you have a window, or that perfect shelf or counter that could use a little something extra! Keeping plants indoors models for children how to care for living things. This could even be something tasty! Herbs add a delicious bonus to your home-cooked meals, are easy to care for, and will teach your kid the joys of cooking with fresh ingredients. Bon appétit!