by Tyson Beazley
What's the largest, most widely celebrated international environmental event? Earth Day! This green movement celebration soared from 20 million people in 1970 to over one billion today.
We've gathered up Earth Day ideas and activities to help educate your friends and family. Inspire them to do something green and protect our earth year around!
Recycling is a no-brainer. Wash and separate your aluminum/tin, glass, and recyclable plastics and put them curbside or take the treasure to the Recycling Center. You can bump it up a notch by creating a flyer. Distribute your handiwork to the neighbors on your street. Take a moment and talk with them about the importance of Earth Day. Encourage your neighbors to separate their recyclables into bags and to have them ready for pickup on a particular day.
Whether you choose a sapling or a more mature tree, you can be certain that your gift to the earth will give back to you a hundred times over! Be careful in choosing both the type of tree that you want to plant and the area. For instance, don't plant a tree where it's likely to interfere with power lines or endanger the house.
Sit down with your family and look around your home for ways that you can help conserve energy:
Another idea is to look around and inspect your home. Fix leaky faucets and toilets that waste water. Check your windows and doors for gaps that allow warm or cold air to escape. When replacing appliances, choose those with an Energy Star label.
Do some research on how you can make your yard more welcoming to natural wildlife, "good bugs," and birds. Your lawn will thank you and most definitely the earth will, too! For ideas, check out our Audubon Day and tadpole to frog articles.
Encourage your family to form new, earth-friendly habits. For instance, how about:
• At dinner, light a candle for the earth and agree on some new family habits.
• If anyone gets something new, that person chooses an item to recycle, give to a charity, or toss.
• Everyone in the family takes on one regular recycling job (take out the recycling, send the printer ribbons to be recycled, find a place to donate used eyeglasses or cell phones to charity instead of tossing them, cull old household items for recycling.)
• Set a date to work together filling boxes with donations for others: toys, clothes, household items. Talk about why we recycle instead of throwing things away.
• Package up old books and donate them to your local public library.
Get your family out and about in nature on a regular basis. Take a walk together as a family. Go for a bike ride. Have a family kickball game or a water fight. You can also just take a blanket and snuggle up before bedtime, looking up at the stars together.
You could be polluting your home without even knowing it. Some of the chemicals in cleaning products harm the air inside our homes. If you knew that when you were cleaning you were actually putting your family's health at risk, wouldn't you want to make a change? Choose or make your own environmentally friendly cleaning products to keep your home clean and your family safe without the "knock you down at the door" smell of some of the commercial cleaning products.
You might have things that you don't use that someone else in your family might need. Find out who has what and who needs it with one of these ideas: