Looking for some wholesome ways to spend Earth Day with your family? Here’s KSW’s Top 10 list of ways to celebrate this valuable tradition with the ones you love.
1. Spend a few hours at home decluttering your belongings. Gather up canned goods, old clothes, magazines you’ve already read, toys your children have outgrown and more. Then take a road trip with your kids to several donation locations in your city to help make the biggest impact. You’ll all feel better after helping others and hopefully you’ll all want to do this together on a recurring basis.
Soup Kitchen or Homeless Shelter: Canned Goods, Non-Perishable Items, Old Blankets and travel size toiletries
Ronald McDonald House, Dress for Success, Red Cross, Salvation Army, or Goodwill: Gently Worn Clothing
Hospitals, Doctor’s Offices, Retirement Homes: Magazines and/or paperbacks
Women’s Shelters, Orphanages, Daycares: Toys, school supplies, jackets, shoes, blankets
2. Spend a day at the movies – Disney’s Earth Movie is opening on the oh-so appropriate Earth Day and is planting a tree for every ticket sold between April 22-28. They have already made plans to plant 50o,000 trees in areas identified as critical based on the advanced ticket sales they’ve had so far. Your ticket purchase will provide an afternoon of fun and education for you family, as well as piece of mind that there are several trees being planted in the rainforest with your families name on them.
3. Take your children to the Zoo or a nearby Aquarium: Focus your attention on endangered species and talk with your children about why they are in danger of going extinct and what you can do as a family to help.
4. Stop by a local Starbucks (be sure to bring your own coffee cup, and they’ll give you a cup of Jo for FREE – Free for all Canada locations and @ participating stores in the US. Check your local Starbucks to be sure) – chat about life with your kids and ways they would like to make an impact by going green. Are they interested in recycling, composting, carpooling … get their real opinions. On the way out, ask the person at the counter if you can have the old coffee grounds to start your own compost pile. If you don’t feel comfortable having an open compost heap in your backyard or a can in your kitchen, use a rubbermaid tote in your backyard. This will keep the smell/mess contained and the critters out and provide a warm insulator that will aid in decomposition. Fill it with items your comfortable with working with, mine will have:
– Coffee grounds
– Shredded paper
– Grass clippings
– Banana and Orange Peels
– Egg Shells
– Rich Soil
5. Organize a Say No to Litter March in your neighborhood or a Rubbish Game for just your kids. Bring along wagons, trikes, gloves, and plenty of trash bags, sing this song along the way:
If you see a piece of litter pick it up
If you see a piece of litter pick it up
You will make the world look better
If you pick up all the litter.
If you see a piece of litter, pick it up
6. Go on a Nature Scavenger Hunt – As you collect items of all colors, talk with your kids about the beauty that exists in nature. Describe your favorite sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and feelings that exist effortlessly in nature. Examples would be: Watching a beautiful sunset, The sound of the ocean bereeze, The smell of wisteria in my grandfather’s backyard, The taste of fresh picked blackberries, and the feel of water rushing between my toes as I stand on the edge of the beach where the water meets the sand.
7. Take a trip to your local Farmer’s Market – Have a blast picking out your own fruits and veggies. Let the kids pick all of the items that will be used to create their dinner. Your menu could include a nice green salad or gazpacho as a first course, homemade pizza as your entree and a delicious smoothie for dessert. (Click on photos for these recipes or create your own) Either way, I guarantee your kids wont complain about eating their veggies tonight.
8. Repurpose items meant for the trash into something wonderful, make something special just for grandma and grandpa. They’ll get the biggest kick out of what you create.
Younger kids will love this Bottle Cap Magnet project
Older Kids & even adults will adore this unique soda can jewelry how-to
9. Plant, pick, or tend to something outdoors. You’ll be amazed how much your children love playing in the dirt and giving something life. If you don’t have a garden, try planting a sunflower or some potted herbs for your windowsill. If planting isn’t possible, take a walk around the neighborhood and collect branches, leaves, and flowers to display in your home. Another option, trim some bushes or spend time weeding in your yard. By the end of this exercise, you and your kids are sure to be more relaxed and in tune with nature.
10. Feed the birds: There are several easy options for making bird houses with materials you probable already have in your home. Try a coat hangar + popcorn version you can style yourself or a pinecone + peanut butter + bird seed option you can whip up in a jiffy. The kids will love making these and will be delighted to see the fruits of their labor when the birds come round to taste their new treats.
Here’s wishing you and your family a wonderful Earth Day. As for me and my home, we’ll be trying a few of these and thinking of ways we can make it Earth Day, Every Day at our house.