Celebrate Earth Day this month on Sunday, April 22nd and go green with the entire family. There are many ways you and your family can celebrate. You can purchase environmentally friendly products or complete a once a month green project within your community. Here are five ways you and your family can celebrate Earth Day this year.
#1 Plant a Tree
Besides a family fun activity, trees help lower greenhouse gas emissions and provide a home for a variety of animals including beautiful birds. If you aren’t sure what type of tree to plant in your yard, head to your local nursery and ask a garden care expert to help you decide on a tree species that will thrive in your local climate. Don’t have a backyard to plant a tree? Plant a small garden instead! Small pots fit great on a back deck, balcony or indoor windowsill. Whether you plant a big backyard garden or small indoor herbs, give children responsibilities in the garden so they learn the importance of taking care of something.
#2 Take a Walk in Nature
Take a nature hike together as a family. Spend the afternoon in a local park or hit the hiking trails. Before heading out, create a nature scavenger hunt list and see how many items you can check off. Pack a no waste lunch for the entire family so you can stop and have a mid-day picnic while enjoying the beauty of Mother Nature. A no waste meal means no garbage, so remember cloth napkins, reusable cutlery and tupperware to pack all of those delicious and nutritious snacks like fresh fruit with a side of your favorite spread, sandwiches and granola bites. Finally, be sure to pack everything in a reusable canvas bag and leave room for any empty water bottles you find along the way. Pick them up and take them back home with you for proper recycling.
#3 Get Crafty with Some Nature Crafts
Get crafty with Mother Nature and create some easy and fun nature crafts.
- Collect pine cones from your family nature hike and coat them in nut butter then sprinkle them with birdseed and hang them in a backyard tree so birds have a delicious snack to enjoy as they build their nests for the new season.
- Take all of the excess dryer lint from your laundry room and bunch it together inside a small mesh net then hang it in a tree. This will give the birds extra items to build their springtime nests. Old nets from oranges and other fruits make for a great option.
- Use recycled scraps of paper to cut out shapes and make a paper collage. Just grab a glue stick and a pair of child safe scissors and you are good to go.
- Build a homemade birdhouse using a milk carton. Don’t forget to decorate it!
- Make an indoor compost pile for all of those kitchen scraps like egg shells, extra vegetable stalks and fruit skins.
Camp Out (Or In)
Get in touch with nature and take the family on a camping trip. An overnight trip in the woods provides a perspective on the importance of protecting Mother Nature and her beauty. If you aren’t a fan of roughing it in the great outdoors, plan an eco-vacation instead and camp out in the family living room.
- You may not have the ambiance of a crackling campfire, but you can still set up sleeping bags and create a tent using bed sheets.
- Be sure to turn off and unplug all electronic devices to eliminate phantom power use. This includes the television, cell phones, computers, iPads and other electronic devices.
- Sing campfire songs, share ghost stories and make a batch of old fashion popcorn right off the stovetop. Don’t forget a sweet treat like these delicious homemade cookies.
- Elevate your indoor camping experience further and when the sun goes down, go the whole night without electricity, just like our ancestors did. Take this opportunity to gather around a window and star gaze. Need light? Use candles!
Make Environmentally-Friendly Goals
Gather together as a family and create a list of environmentally-goals your family can strive towards. As you make each goal, talk to your children about the importance of each and the significance of conserving our planet’s resources. Whether you vow to take shorter showers, make your home a plastic free household or use the eco-friendly wash cycle on your washer, dryer and dishwasher, make a plan! Once you have all agreed to these goals, print them out, have everyone sign it and hang it on the fridge for everyone to see as a friendly reminder.
Make Everyday Earth Day
There are a ton of great ways to celebrate Earth Day. From cleaning up a local park to volunteering at the community recycling center, remember Earth Day doesn’t have to be celebrated just once a year. Do all you can to protect our planet because it’s the only place we have to call home!