Earth Day is quickly approaching, and there is no better time to get your children involved in the effort to “go green.” Even if you don’t have a lot of time to spare, there are easy ways to incorporate Earth Day activities into your life, and celebrate this holiday at home and in your community!
Here are eight simple ways to celebrate Earth Day with your littles:
- Look Local. Visit your town’s local website for information on local Earth Day activities. Many communities, small and large, have ongoing events in the month of April to celebrate this special day. If you live here in the East Valley, there are so many events to choose from! Check out local events in Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Queen Creek, and even Phoenix.
- Make a meatless meal. Get the kids involved by letting them leaf through a vegetarian cookbook (look for one with bright pictures!) at the library. Enjoying a meatless meal a few times a week can have quite an impact.
- Set up an in home recycling center. When you make recycling into a fun project instead of a chore, your kids will be more likely to participate. Grab a couple of colorful bins (or make them from cardboard boxes) and draw or paint labels to show what kind of recycled material can go into each box. Your children will have so much fun sorting through the materials and learning about what can and cannot be reused.
- Scatter seeds in the garden. If you are like me, you just don’t have time to cultivate a beautiful back yard garden right now. Instead, take a short cut and buy some wildflower seeds, and let the kids do a seed scatter in a patch of dirt.
- Switch to cloth. Paper towels, that is! Save money by no longer buying pricey, disposable paper towels, but also help save the planet. Kids may get involved by encouraging them to pick out a fun pattern for your new reusable cloth set.
- Replace a ride. Get in the habit of replacing one car ride each week with something more sustainable, like walking, riding a bike, or taking public transportation. Little ones will enjoy the adventure of a light rail or bike ride to the market, and you can explain why it is so important to reduce car emissions by traveling lightly whenever possible.
- Visit a state park. State parks are full of Earth Day related lessons. We have two very close to us in the east Valley, Boyce Thompson Arboretum and Lost Dutchman State Park. Not only is it wildflower season in Arizona right now, but many of the parks have fun events set up to celebrate Earth Day, so be sure to check out the calendars.
- Donate. Your time, by volunteering with a local earth saving mission (many will let children volunteer as well). Or, your money, by giving a monthly or one time donation to a charity that plants trees or helps the environment. Involve your kids by explaining to them how important it is to support the causes that you believe in, like keeping our planet a clean and sustainable place to live for years to come.