Earth Day Activities
There is no shortage of Earth Day Activities to help celebrate and preserve our beautiful Earth, especially with all this beautiful weather we’ve had. In honor of the beautiful weather and Earth Day right around the corner, I’ve compiled a list of Earth Day Activities. These Earth Day activities are split into different categories for age groups, but really they’re all great Earth Day activities for families and children of all ages.
Earth Day Activities for Adults
Take Alternative Transportation
As much as I like a quick car ride to work, it often serves as a barrier to me and my environment. There is so much we miss in the car. Taking a walk, riding a bike or even a bus can completely change the point of view. You might find a new restaurant, hang out place, even make new friends when you think outside the car. Plus, one less car on the road has amazing environmental benefits and health benefits.
Have a Buy Nothing Month
There are so many benefits to having a buy nothing month. From the mining or harvesting of resources, to pollution and working conditions of factories, capitalism is not the best thing for our Earth. An economy based on capitalism does our Earth a huge disservice and wreaks havoc on our pocket book. Being aware of what we buy and why we buy can put us in better position both financially and environmentally.
Plant a Garden
There are so many environmental and personal benefits to growing your own food. The average piece of produce travels over 3,000 miles to get to your plate. As the produce travels, it loses its nutrients and taste. There is nothing more delicious than a freshly picked peach, picked at just the right time, but there is no way to enjoy those benefits unless you grow your own. Plus, if you grow your own food, you get to control whether pesticides are used.
Use Reusable Shopping Bags
As Americans, we go through 100 billion plastic shopping bags every year, costing retailers about $4 billion dollars.
There is a mindset that plastic bags are “free,” but not only do stores hide their cost in higher prices at the register, but also there is a cost for taxpayers of .17 cents per bag in pollution clean-up costs too. In the state of California alone, public agencies spend more than $25 million annually to manage plastic bag pollution.
It’s easy to forget those reusable bags. I’ve gone to great lengths to make sure I never have an excuse to not use them. I put a set in my car’s truck, but some by the doors, so I can grab them as I leave, if I plan to walk. Another solution is to get bags that fit easily in your purse, pocket or on your keychain, so I can have them at all times.
Even without plastic bags, we still bring in tons of plastic items into our homes. To take this step to the next level, you can opt for plastic-shopping. Bring your own produce bags or bulk items sacks.
Reduce Food Waste
According to the USDA, Americans throw away 25 percent, 52 billion pounds, of the food they purchase. During the holidays, it is estimated, we throw away three times during this time as much as we do the rest of the year. This one area you can definitely make a major dent in saving your family money and also helping our Earth.
Food waste is an epidemic in America and probably in many of the other first world countries throughout the world. There are many reasons for this problem. Food is getting cheaper and cheaper, so now people tend to undervalue these products. Also, people are so far removed from where their food comes from and how much work goes into it that again, people undervalue their food.
Get organized and start meal planning is one of the best ways to reduce food waste. You can also plan to trade leftovers and meals with family and friends, if you’ve bought too much or made too much for your family. Although it should be a last resort, you can also compost raw produce to help cut down on food waste.
Sit with the family and set specific goals to recycle and save energy- It’s often as easy as changing your light bulbs, adjusting the setting on your fridge, or making a routine trip to a nearby recycling bin.
Switch to Non-Disposables
Really, using single use products is just silly. I get so tired of seeing my apartment complex’s trash filled with single use plastic items, Styrofoam and paper products.
I mean come on. Water bottles only contain FOUR cents worth of water and for what? There is more and more information being released that clearly says tap water is no worse than bottled water. Yet, Americans throw away 35 billion plastic bottles every year. Only 25 percent of that plastic is recycled, but if we recycled the other 75% we could save 1 billion gallons of oil and 44 million cubic yards of landfill space annually. If you just HAVE to have bottled water, opt for gallon jugs or those huge reusable jugs for your bottled water needs.
Here are some other great ways to drastically reduce your use of plastic and why these steps are so important.
This doesn’t go for just bottled water. This also the case for Styrofoam. Styrofoam has a whole list of chemicals linked to all kinds of health problems that can be leached into your liquid, especially hot liquids like coffee. Plus, Styrofoam is virtually impossible to recycle or reuse.
This is why a reusable bottle is one of the first changes you can make to help reduce the amount of trash you throw away.
Earth Day Activities for Preschoolers
Pick up Litter
There is only a few times in life where you can have your cake and eat it too. What better Earth Day activities would there be than to make the Earth a cleaner and better place, while also enjoying the beauty of nature?
Use Trash to Make Art
After you pick up litter, let the kids use it upcycled art or crafts. This is a cool way for kids to think outside the box and use it for a new purpose.
Learn About Compost
Food scraps and natural materials can provide soil with essential nutrients. Conduct experiments to see how compost compares with growing with just soil. You can also watch the materials break down and learn about nature’s amazing process. Check out these gardening resources to get started.
Feed the Birds
Learn about nature, what it eats and it interacts in the ecosystem. make bird feeders out of recycled materials to reduce waste and become a host for nature.
Worms have a special place in the ecosystem, especially when it comes to healthy soil. They also have an interesting life cycle, and are fun to play with. The more kids interact with nature, the more likely they are to care for it.
Plan a Garden Bed
Gardening is great for Earth Day activities because it teaches so much along the way. Preschoolers get to learn math, reading, colors, shapes, counting, measuring, gross and fine motor skills as they plant seeds and watch things grow. Growing food encourages children to learn where their food comes from and to try new things. Learn how to garden with kids.
Interested in making your community more eco-friendly? Check out the Green School Initiative.
Earth Day Activities for High School
Visit Recycling Center and Landfill
I did not visit a recycling center or landfill until well into my 20s. However, those experiences changed my life and how I saw waste. Never again was I careless enough to throw my aluminum can into the trash when a recycling bin was available. The sooner we can instill these caring qualities the better for our future generations.
Calculate Car Carbon Footprint
High school students get all excited about the freedom that comes with a car. This is a great activity to remind them that freedom comes at a cost. Let them calculate the true cost of owning a car.
Conduct an Energy or Trash Audit
This Dreaming in Green group conducted a energy audit for their school after learning the impacts of energy usage. They joined forces to reduce the school’s carbon footprint and save money at the same time. Check out the Green Education Foundation for more information on how to conduct a school energy audit. You can also learn how to calculate your school’s carbon footprint.
Help Maintain School Garden
If your school has a garden, let some of the high school students take part in planning and running the garden or mentoring the younger students. This builds leadership and planning skills. Later on, knowing how to grow their own food, getting reconnected with nature, and knowing where their food comes from is a great asset.
And last, but not least, contact corporations, your local representative in congress, anybody who practices unsustainable. Ignore the first paragraph of this post and it has EXCELLENT info about why you should contact your congressperson and how to do it.
Earth Day reminds us we all share the same planet. Sharing Earth means taking responsibility for what we use and how we use it. It is a day to think of the environmental challenges we face and how to solve them. Protecting Earth is every person’s and every country’s responsibility.
Looking for some other ways to celebrate spring? Check out these other posts!
How the Beauty of Spring Shows the Renewal of the Gospel – The Peculiar Treasure
DIY Spring Flower Pots with Patina Copper – Curbside Overhaul
How to Choose Plant Varieties in the Garden – Little Sprouts Learning Garden
Don’t forget to pin these Earth Day activities for later!