5 Ideas for Celebrating Earth Day with your Family
Earth Day is Thursday! It is in the middle of the week, and I know you all have busy lives. Here are a easy few ideas for how to honor the Earth a bit more on this day. Yes, I know, every day should be Earth Day. But you can step it up a little on this day, right? And maybe because it is Earth Day, it will bring living green and more sustainably to the forefront of your mind, and you can share your thinking with your little people. I know I need a little reminding and motivation on occasion!
1. Have a car-less day. I know this isn't possible for many of us working parents. But if you happen to stay home, or work from home (what parent doesn't?) then you might be able to live the whole day without using the car. Explain to your family that you are using less gas, and therefore lessening global warming. (Haven't talked about global warming yet? Get this book. Or, say that by driving less you keep the air cleaner.)
2. Have a screen-less day. That's right. Everyone! I know it will be hard for us wired moms, but encourage the whole family to have NO screen time. Unplug the TV. The computer, and any other electrical entertainment. Go outside! Take a walk! If its raining, go outside anyway with boots and slickers-- or if you can't, play a board game, read book, or make an Earth book. Have your child list what she loves about nature and being outdoors, then create a book with pictures, listing one idea per page and an accompanying drawing or painting.
3. Have a local foods feast. If everyone is busy all day, plan a local foods feast for dinner. You can feature spring foods such as fiddleheads, spinach, rhubarb, or winter roots snazzed up with spring herbs. Too early (like in Vermont)? Then be sure to buy local eggs, meat, dairy, or breads and create a local feast that works for your family. Explain to your kids that eating local foods is better for them, and for the earth (and the farmers, too!).
4. Do a little greening up. Together, walk the roads or sidewalks in your area. With gloves and bags, pick up litter. Recycle what you can, and throw the rest in the trash. Kids will see how ugly litter is, and how they have directly improved the areas where they live. Or, green up your space. Start preparing your gardens (with your kids!) to grow your own fresh, local veggies.
5. Have a trash-less day, or save everything you would throw out on Earth Day and make a plan for how to throw out less. Keep a separate bag for the day's trash, then review it with your children. What can the family do to lessen the trash? Where does the trash go? Your family can make goals for producing less trash, and getting the kids involved in this will help motivate and inspire them.
Lastly, just go outside for long swaths of free, unstructured play. Kids don't get enough of it these days. Allow them to turn over rocks, throw stones in a creek, pick dandelions or jump in puddles. We can't forget the joy.
What are your ideas for how to celebrate Earth Day? These are just a few I thought of today. I'd love to hear yours!
image: by morgantj on Flickr under Creative Commons