THIS YEAR MAKE
EARTH DAY, APRIL 22ND,
A FAMILY AFFAIR
Tips On Getting Kids Excited About Greening Our Planet Earth
This April 22nd marks the annual celebration of Earth Day, a national American and now global expression of public will bringing together environmental activists and the community at large, to foster respect for the planet and help create a sustainable society. The following article provides creative ideas and suggestions for youngsters, teens, educators and parents seeking to celebrate the riches of our planet on Earth Day through simple,impactive gestures at the home, school, community, civic and political levels. The EcoMall offers the following environmentally conscious activity ideas to celebrate Earth Day:
- Appreciate the Earth: Wake early, take a morning walk with your children and watch the sunrise. Breathe in the morning air and focus onthe natural world around you. Reflect on the things that you loveabout the earth. Write in your journal, make up a story, draw apicture, write a poem. Think about how you as a family can preserve and keep the earth in good health.
- Make an Earth-Day Pledge: Sit down with your family and come upwith earth-friendly resolutions you can all keep. Examples could be tostart recycling and purchasing recycled products, make the change tonon-toxic cleaners and pesticides, purchase organic produce, bike to school or work, or become vegetarians.
- Arrange a Special Earth Day Action in Your Own Community: Plant atree or organize an Earth Day clean up - supply bags and pick a park,street, or other public area and clean it up. Host a recycling event or organize a drop off site for toxic materials such as batteries and paint cans. Set up a table in a public place and let people know how you feel about taking care of the earth. Set up a compost demonstration alongside a plant sale.
- Beautify Your Schools: Participants can prepare garden beds andchildren can plant flowers at a later date. Have volunteers bring garden tools. Ask for landscaper and Master Gardener volunteers tohelp oversee this project. Plant a tree at the school.
- Green Your Schools: Talk to school administrators about changing over to non-toxic cleaners, serving organic milk, food and juice, and using recycled, non-toxic school supplies. Have your school conduct an energy audit. Ask them to incorporate environmental themes and activities into the school’s curriculum.
- Organize an Eco-field Trip: Plan a trail walk through a park, avisit to a nature center, organic farm, science museum, your local recycling plant, landfill, or water reservoir.
- Plan an Earth Day Event : Write and perform an Earth Day play,organize an Earth Day Music Concert or Earth Day Art Show. Have an Eco-Fashion show, demonstrating clothes made from hemp and organic cotton. Organize an organic picnic - invite friends for lunch in the park on the grass with only organic foods. Get the local schools involved in their own special events with the kids. Your school canmake a sculpture of recycled materials, or individual classes orindividual children can create their own recycled art projects. Create an Earth Day mural.
- Support Pro-Earth Groups : Plan an Earth Day walk-a-thon orclean-up-a-thon. Take financial pledges from people to sponsor you for each mile you walk or each garbage bag you fill. Donate the money to areputable environmental agency or use the money for localbeautification. Adopt a park, playground, or street. Adopt an endangered animal from an environmental organization.
- Shop Green: Use your purchasing power to support environmentally friendly companies and products by doing your shopping on-line, which cuts out pollution from car travel and the waste of paper catalogs. To browse hundreds of earth-friendly companies offering everything fromnon-toxic household cleaners, organic and hemp clothing, natural bodycare, energy efficient products to recycled paper and more, shop around here at the EcoMall web site.
- Reduce Waste: Clean out your closets and bring things that you nolonger need to a thrift shop. Don't throw things away! Instead, have a swap meet and trade clothes, toys, and books with your friends.Make a list of disposable items that you can do without. Take agrocery store tour and learn how to purchase products that have littleor no packaging, organic produce, and products made of recycledmaterials.
- Take Action! Write a letter with your children to the President oryour local, state or federal government representatives asking them tofocus on a particular environmental issue. Write to a corporation and congratulate them on their "good" environmental practices or ask them to clean up their act.
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Special thanks to: Carol Baxter (Teaching Green).
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