Even if I personally think that every day should be Earth Day, it is good that each April 22 we get that reminder that we need to take care of our planet.
It is especially true during this pandemic because we are so preoccupied with surviving mentally and physically and might put this on the back burner.
Whether it is your first time celebrating Earth Day or you have been for years, there are some great and free activities you can do with your family to encourage everyone to protect the Earth.
History of Earth Day
Earth Day originates from huge environmental disasters that happened between 1950 and 1970 in the United States.
The Environmental awareness grew slowly and relatively silently during these three decades but two events in 1969 galvanized the American public into action:
- The Santa Barbara Oil Spill in January
- The Cuyahoga River fire in June
The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970 gathered almost 20 million people (10% of the country’s population at that time) to protest industrial pollution.
Earth Day became global in 1990 with 200 million people participating from 141 countries.
It now mobilized a billion people in more than 190 countries. It is one of the world’s biggest civic event.
Activities for Earth Day
Here are some great and free activities you can do with your family to encourage everyone to protect the Earth.
Virtual Earth Day 2021 activities
This year, International Earth Day’s theme is ‘Restore our EarthTM’ which means reducing our environmental footprint and do our part to fix the damage already done. There will be virtual workshops, panel discussions and special performances.
There will be a virtual Leaders Summit on Climate, which will be livestreamed for public viewing.
Also, Earth Day Canada has launched its campaign Take Care of the Planet with events from coast to coast.
Earth Day activities for toddlers
I am a supporter to teaching even very young kids environmentally friendly habits. After all, a habit taken at an early age is just a way of life.
So, set up a sorting station with three containers: trash, compost and recycling to teach kids to keep stuff out of the landfill.
Help your kids to sort their garbage into the correct category. Talk about what is recyclable and what is compostable, and what can be reused.
Organize a nature scavenger hunt
Get out and experience nature! Take some paper, a pencil and a clipboard and go for a walk looking out for great natural treasures. Take your time, encourage your kids to draw what they find, show them simple things like the sun through the leaves, the clouds, etc.
No ideas for your scavenger hunt? no problem, here are some ideas:
- a rock
- two different leaves
- a flower
- a spider web
- a feather
- a squirrel
- something that smells good, and
- something yellow
If you’re in lockdown, you can still go on an eco-friendly virtual field trip. Tune up to your favorite search engine and visit the rainforest or watch a documentary on the dolphins.
In the garden
You can start growing plants from seeds, you just need a few containers (it is a great way to reuse yogurt plastic containers, drill some holes at the bottom), some soil and seeds (peas, beans and tomatoes are very easy to start growing indoors)
Kids will love to watch their plants grow and take care of them. They can even record the changes on an observation sheet
Teach your kids how to reuse objects and reduce the quantity of garbage in landfills:
- Take an empty jam jar and decorate it to make a small vase,
- Transform an old T-shirt in a backpack or a grocery bag,
- Make a drum from a tin can and decorate it,
- Transform a milk carton in a birdfeeder.
Like the hummingbird, do you little part by picking up litter when you go on a walk. This is a great way to involve kids in keeping their neighborhood trash-free, of course, adult supervision is required to avoid accidents.
So, gather garbage bags, gloves and hand sanitizer for the whole family and start making directly a difference in your community.
I hope I gave you some simple but rewarding ideas on how to commemorate Earth Day with your family this year.
And remember: every day should be Earth Day!