Take Care of Mother Nature this Earth Day

Monday, April 22, 2019  is the 49th observance of Earth Day, the largest civic environmental movement in the world with over a billion people participating in grass root community initiatives and larger, corporate campaigns against climate change, pollution, and other issues and policies. This year’s theme surrounds protecting threatened and endangered species, with particular focus on bees, giraffes, coral reefs, and whales, to name just a few.

For parents, Earth Day is a wonderful opportunity to teach children about the environment and the big blue marble we call home through hands on exploration of the natural world and eco-friendly lifestyle changes.

We’ve rounded up 17 activities and ideas to commemorate Earth Day with your family, and remember — Earth Day is everyday, not just on April 22.

 

  1. Plant a vegetable garden, tree, or shrubs in your yard. Don’t have a yard?  Grow simple veggies inside, on a patio or in a window box.

2. Clean up a local park, beach or shoreline.  Pick up trash as a family or recruit families from the community to help for maximum impact.

3. See Disney’s new Earth Day flick, Penguins during opening week (April 17 through April 23, 2019)  For every ticket sold the Disney Conservation Fund will make a monetary donation to the Wildlife Conservation Network. https://nature.disney.com/penguins

4. Leave your car home for the day and cycle, scooter or walk to work or school.  If your destination isn’t walkable, give public transportation or a carpool a go.

5. Ditch the plastic silverware! One of the most commonly found pieces of trash is plastic cutlery. Purchase an inexpensive reusable bamboo set for desk and school lunches or better yet, bring metal utensils from home in a small pouch.  

6. Be conscious of wasting water. Take shorter showers, turn off the faucet while brushing  your teeth and washing your face or skip watering the lawn one day a week.

7. Drink from reusable cups and bottles while on the go. If traditional thermoses and bottles are too bulky for you, try a silicone coffee cup or water bottle that folds down when not in use.  When planning large gatherings or school functions, use pitchers or dispensers for water instead of plastic bottles.

8. Cut down on plastic use. Stash a packable reusable shopping bag in your purse so you don’t have to rely on plastic carrier bags at the store. If you must use a plastic bag, take them to your local recycling center instead of throwing in the trash or give them another life as a garbage can liner.

9. Buy organic produce when you can to decrease the amount of pesticides leaching into the water.  It is better for your family, insects and the environment.

10, Be mindful of food waste. Nearly half of all food produced around the world goes to waste, in the US, we trash food to the tune of 200 pounds per person per year, draining natural resources, wasting money and increasing methane gasses.  Avoid wasting for by meal planning, purchasing less, or really using up everything in the pantry before you hit the market. If you still have food your family isn’t going to use try composting with it or donating it to a food bank.

11. Go on a hike or a walk. Experience and get in touch with nature and wildlife firsthand.  Remember though, if you pack it in to pack it out and bring a small bag to pick up trash from those who haven’t.  

12. Reduce electricity consumption. Have the family turn off the air conditioner and open a window instead.  Switch off the lights when you leave the room and take your devices out of the wall socket when they are done charging (and be sure not to leave to the charger plugged into the wall, too.)

13. Recycle recycle recycle.  Find out more about what your town recycles by taking a tour of a recycling center.  

14. Do your Spring Cleaning with non-toxic, all natural cleaners like vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda.  They are just as effective as traditional cleaners but more wallet- and environmentally-friendly.

15. Reuse all paper.  Kids can scribble and draw on the back of a memo from school or you can use it for your grocery list.

16. Go meatless once a week (it doesn’t have to be Monday) and aid the decrease of greenhouse emissions that lead to global warming.

17. Go Batty! Bats aren’t horrifying monsters. These nocturnal flyers actually play a vital role in our environment, and they are critically endangered.  One problem is finding an appropriate place to spend the daytime hours. Invite bats to roost on your property by installing a bat house on a high section of your home or the trunk of a sturdy tree.