22 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day with Kids
If 22 ways to celebrate Earth Day with kids sounds like an aggressive goal, read on to see that this list contains ideas that are happy, cheap and easy.
Plant a veggie patch - Screw some 2x4s together to create a small raised bed or till your existing one. Fill the bed with soil and cultivate away. Check your region for best early spring vegetables and account for your family's tastes. They'll be more likely to eat their veggies when they had a hand in their growth.
Create a recycling center at home - If not already in use, find four old bins and designate each one paper, glass, plastic, and aluminum. Find a home for these in a convenient location that's easy for family members of all ages to access and use. Make a game of it and award prizes for the most weekly donations. Either put out these recyclables for pick up or visit your local recycling center for a deposit to complete the circle.
Walk or bike to School and Work or take public transportation if the carbon-neutral options are not feasible. Even better, commit to a natural mode of transportation at least one day per week.
Ditch the car - Plan your week's activities so you can leave the car at home for one or more days per week. Make this Earth Week, Month and Year!
Hang the laundry out to dry - Plan to cut down on your laundry cycles by conserving outfits and getting a hand from Mother Nature to help dry clothes out on the line.
Get a low flow shower head and/or timer - Reduce your water consumption by half with a low flow shower head. Many cities have rebate/free programs to help families conserve water.
Go Vegetarian this week - Ditch the red meat this week as you enjoy high-protein vegetarian meals with your family. Try veggie burritos packed with sweet peppers, onions, black beans, avocado and pico de gallo. Bon appetit!
Build a compost bin - Try this easy method using a plastic storage bin that you likely have in your garage or storage room right now. Or opt for a more natural wooden style.
Give 'it' a new home - Whatever 'it' might be - unused toys, unworn clothes, unread books - Earth Day is a day to take a look at what we consume and how we dispose of what we consume. Consider sorting through kids toys and filling a bag that can be donated. Let kids help in this activity, which can spark some great conversation about consumption and giving to others.
Go on a garbage hunt to tidy up the neighborhood - Each person grab a tote bag that can be washed (or that can get a little dirty) and hit the streets to pick trash around the neighborhood. Kids will be protecting precious water, animals and their home town. Great job, kids!
Take a nature walk - Hit the streets and start by looking around you at all the natural, living things that surround us. Take a note pad and pen and jot down the items, sketch them, then make a collage of what you found together. Turn the collage into a card for a friend or family member to celebrate the day!
Ditch the bits and bytes - Shun electronics for the day - no cell phones, computers, ipads, ipods, et al - when you have to make a call use a land line. And give yourself a huge pat on the back at the end of the day. Turning off while tuning in is bliss!
Click to give - Visit the Rainforest Site and click for free to help fund reforestation around the globe. Monkeys and more thank you!
Plant a tree - Spend part of the day paying classic homage to Earth Day. Find a tree species native to your region and use a little elbow grease to give it a new home. Memorialize your tree with a few spoken words and a little sign to celebrate Earth Day, a birthday, springtime or any other special family event.
Hit the trail - Invite another family along to carpool up to the hills and take an easy hike through the woods. Remember to listen to the sounds of nature, which can open up our ears and eyes to life back at home. Record these sounds with your phone to enjoy during times of stress.
The Pen is Mightier than the Chainsaw - Ask your kids to pen or have them dictate a short article on what Earth Day means to them. Plan to distribute this to friends and neighbors. Include a few of these tips above on how to do little things each day to help Mother Earth stay strong. Videotape the responses to pass on for Earth Day warm fuzzies for all!
Turn off the lights and car, hairdryer, oven, TV, radio, computer, and any other electronics that hum in your home. Challenge your family to an electronics-free Earth Day and see how it goes. Have a interesting discussion the next day when you debrief the biggest challenges and new insights into your day of electronics freedom.
Bask at the beach - Spend part of your day at the beach exploring the beauty from and on the shore. Investigate the local vegetation and animal life. Don't forget to shuck socks and shoes and squeeze sand between your toes!
Lend a hand - Do a little early research this weekend and find a local Earth Day volunteer event to attend. These range from tree planting and forest restoration to exhibits about recycling and cleaning our urban spaces. Contact your local library or community center to find our what's going on near you.
Peel away the plastic - For the health of family and the planet see if you can reduce or remove the plastic from home. Cull through shopping bags, food storage containers, water bottles, old plastic toys and more. Replace these over time with glass bottles and natural fiber products.
Curl up with a book - End Earth Day with a couple of library books about celebrating nature and planet earth. Find age appropriate books whose protagonists are kids excited about the natural world around them.
And when the sun has set, say good night giving thanks for each other and a day that celebrates Mother Earth and all her marvelous kiddos!