Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children. – Native American Proverb
Today is Earth Day – a time to celebrate the awesomeness of this planet we live on, and be mindful about ways we can protect it for future generations. San Francisco celebrated the first Earth Day in 1970, just months after peace activist John McConnell spoke at the National UNESCO Conference, calling for a day to celebrate the planet and promote peace among its inhabitants. Since then, the event has become an international celebration focused on making our world a better, safer, more eco-friendly place to live.
Earth Day is an awesome time to talk to your kids about living green and helping to make the world a better place for everyone. Even better, take action as a family – let Earth Day be a kick-off for permanent change – making Earth Day every day.
Here are six great ways to celebrate Earth Day with your kids!
1. Take a Hike!
Use today to get out into nature with your kids. Instilling in them a love of the natural world will make them more likely to care for the Earth as they get older, plus it’s a great way to unplug and spend time as a family. While hiking, you can teach your kids about the importance of preserving our natural habitats and protecting wildlife.
2. Read a Book!
Turn off the television and spend some time reading together. You’ll save energy while spending time together. Pick books that teach kids about the environment and use them to launch into a conversation about protecting and preserving our planet. Here are some of our favorites:
- The Lorax by Dr. Suess
- Grover’s 10 Terrific Ways to Help Our Wonderful World by Anna Ross
- The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
- The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss
- The EARTH Book by Todd Parr
3. Plant a Vegetable Garden!
In addition to being a great way to bond with your kids, planting a garden helps the environment by creating a mini-ecosystem in your yard. Plus, plants help improve air quality, so you can breathe easier knowing you’re helping make the world a better place. Not to mention, you reap the benefit of fresh, GMO-free veggies!
4. Go For a Bike Ride!
Ditch your four wheels for two – leave the car at home and use your bikes for the day. You’ll get a good workout while reducing your carbon emissions! Not only is biking environmentally friendly, but it’s a wonderful activity that the entire family can enjoy.
5. Make Your House More Eco-Friendly!
There are many ways to make your home greener. Here are just a few things you can do in one day that will lower your energy consumption and save you money!
Switch out your old incandescent light bulbs for CFL or LEDs. In addition to being more energy-efficient, these bulbs last 10-50 times longer than traditional light bulbs. These bulbs aren’t just good for the environment, they’re great for your wallet! Because you’ll replace these bulbs infrequently, you’ll be spending less money than if you stick with incandescent bulbs. Not to mention, your electric bill will thank you!
Turn down the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees. Not only will you save money, but you’ll reduce your household’s energy consumption!
Cut your water consumption by installing aerators on your faucets, turning the water off while you’re washing dishes or brushing teeth, and cut your shower time by a minute. For more great ways to conserve water, check out this list!
There are plenty of Earth Day activities organized by local organizations – look for one in your area. You can help clean up riverbanks, plant trees, and more! Even if there are no Earth Day events in your area, gather the neighbors and enlist their help in cleaning up a local park or playground. Volunteering as a family is a great way to make the world a better place while deepening family relationships.
So what are you going to do today? How will you celebrate Earth Day and make a difference in our world?