What is Earth Day?
Earth Day is held on April 22nd every year as a way to raise awareness for environmental issues. Earth Day was first celebrated in the United States in 1970 and had become an international holiday by 1990, celebrated by more than 1 billion individuals throughout the world. It is now the largest civic observance in the world according to www.earthday.org.
What can we do?
No effort to support the Earth is too small. Earthday.org is on a quest to reach 3 billion “Acts of Green” in support of the planet. They are more than 2 billion “acts” of the way there, which include things like buying local produce to help reduce your carbon footprint, discontinuing your use of disposable plastic and turning your food waste into soil.
Here are five family-friendly ideas for “Acts of Green” that can help teach your children what it means to take care of the planet that takes such good care of us.
1. Have a car-free day
Make a pact to ditch the car for a day and use other means of getting around. Feel free to walk, ride bikes, ride scooters or use public transportation. At the end of the day, discuss how omitting your car impacted your day and how reducing the reliance on cars can benefit your health and the environment as a whole.
2. Spend time in a garden
You don’t need to have a green thumb to enjoy time in the garden. Talk about how healthy foods like vegetables and herbs can be grown right outside and what that process looks like. If you have a garden, spend part of the day in it with your children. If you don’t have one, start one! Let your child help pick out which veggies they’d like to grow and plant the seeds together. This fun activity not only teaches your child the practice of growing healthy foods, but can inadvertently dismiss any picky-eating habits.
3. Create a nature walk collage
Take your family on a journey into nature and bring a camera along. Whether it’s a community lake or simply a loop around the neighborhood, enjoy the smells and scenes of nature. Once the day is done, sit with your child and reminisce by putting together an Earth Day collage from all of the photos you took together.
4. Host a scavenger hunt
Write (or draw) a list of objects in nature such as yard flowers, rocks, sand/dirt, specific bugs, certain cloud shapes, leaves, tree bark and grass. Have your child check off each object as they are found. The objects can become more challenging to find as the “scavenger hunters” increase with age.
5. Plant a tree
The act of planting a tree goes hand-in-hand with Earth Day. Explain to your children that trees provide many great benefits including the reduction of energy consumption, providing homes for birds and other animals, stabilizing soil and slowing down erosion. Trees also improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gasses by absorbing carbon dioxide. Whether you plan to plant a tree in your own yard and watch it grow alongside your children, or participate in a tree-planting project in the community, this is a sure way to celebrate Earth Day.
Although Earth Day is only one day out of the year, the themes behind this holiday should remain as an ongoing practice throughout the entirety of you and your child’s lives. Join Celebree in making this Earth Day a memorable one.