Every year in the early spring the nation celebrates Earth Day. Kids love Earth Day projects as much as anyone – they enjoy being out of doors in the mild weather, being physically active, and knowing that they are helping the community and the world. And it's becoming increasingly apparent that the earth needs all the help we can give it.
So, what should you do this year?
Most towns and cities have Earth Day programs. These might include cleaning up parks, beaches, and playgrounds. While the idea of picking up trash and debris might not sound like fun, when you do it in a group, it can be.
Scout troops, church and synagogue youth groups, classrooms, and just bunches of friends and families volunteer for these cleanups. And are they worth it!
There is also a nation-wide community improvement organization, Keep America Beautiful, that helps organize clean-ups.
Now that the winter snows or rains are disappearing and the leaves are budding, take a look at the trash you may not have noticed. Think how great green places will look without it!
Check with your town’s Earth Day organizing committee. Some clean-up squads supply plastic trash bags, others ask you bring your own. Whatever the drill in your community, wear old clothes and long sleeves and bring a pair of work gloves. Finally, don’t forget sunscreen – the spring sunshine is strong!
Earth Day At Home
You and your family probably recycle as part of your town’s waste disposal system. Kids are effective monitors of this effort.
See if you are recycling all that you can. Go on your town’s website and check out how the recycling program works. Update and increase your family’s efforts, if need be.
Talk to your mom and dad about how they shop. Do they buy items packaged in recycled material? Do you re-use containers whenever possible?
Aluminum, glass, and plastic are all recyclable products. Aluminum is the easiest to recycle but the others are worth it, too. Paper and cardboard, too, can be turned into more paper and cardboard. To learn more about recycling visit CleanSweep U.S.A.
Remember the motto: reduce, recycle, and reuse.
Another way to mark Earth Day at home is to plant native flowers, native shrubbery, or native trees. The spring is the best time for most planting, so Earth Day comes at the right time.
Talk to your mom and dad about starting a compost pile. Compost enriches garden soil – and reduces the waste stream by accepting garden and grass clippings, vegetable kitchen waste, and leaves. Look up composting on the Internet or in a garden book to learn how or review the lessons at CleanSweep U.S.A..
Walk or ride your bike whenever you can. Encourage your mom and dad to drive less – and support their suggestions for car-pooling. Every time we leave the car at home reduces greenhouse gasses from escaping into the atmosphere!
Finally, spend some time outdoors enjoying the soft spring air, the greenery around you, and all that nature has to offer. Nothing beats a beautiful spring day!
Other Earth Day Activities
Groups of kids can get together to raise money to plant trees or otherwise beautify and enhance the environment. You could decide to plant a tree at your school (if the teacher agrees), or donate money to a program that does so.
Kids can also research various environmental groups and decide to support them by visiting their websites, and by learning about what they support, and by making small donations when they can. Go to www.kab.com for more ideas and a list of Great American Cleanup participating organizations.
Earth Day is April 22, but our planet needs our attention and care all year long! To learn more, try these enviromental games