At Runamuk Earth Day is a big event. Any significant event celebrating nature is a big event here because we make it so, the Winter Solstice, Mid-Summer’s Eve, the Vernal and Autumnal Equinoxes, Arbor Day, Pollinator Week, Compost Awareness Week, just to name a few. Keith and I are both nature lovers, passionate about embracing nature, preserving and protecting life, and our goal is to foster that love in our children in hopes that they will grow up to value this Earth, and be good stewards of the land.
In preparation for Earth Day this year, I scoured the internet for activities that we could do with the kids to honor the event, but I didn’t want to simply sit the kids down to color a picture or craft a piece of artwork. I really want to get my kids actively involved in a project that doesn’t just honor the Earth, but benefits it too, which, to me, is what Earth Day is all about.
So I’ve come up with a list of projects that families can do together to take action for Earth Day.
Clean up! Organize a group to help clean up a local stream, abandoned lot, park or playground. Even just taking your family for a walk around the neighborhood to pick up trash is a great way to take action and honor the Earth.
Plant something green. Planting a tree is the old stand-by for Earth Day and Arbor Day. But take it a step further by planning a wildlife garden, one that uses native plant species, and is designed to attract and promote local birds, pollinators, and other animals. Even planting a vegetable garden, no matter how big or small, can benefit local wildlife and the Earth.
Green your home. Start at home for new habits that honor the Earth all year long. Set up a compost to reuse your kitchen scraps. Or build a rain barrel to collect rainwater. Think of new ways to conserve in your home, such as installing a low-flow toilet, replacing old light bulbs with flourescent lights, investing in energy efficient appliances, or sealing up drafts to save energy. If you don’t already recycle start today, and if there’s not a facility or program available in your area consider organizing a team or committee that will work toward establishing a recycling program in your community.
Foster a connection with nature. This is perhaps the most important thing you can do to benefit the Earth. Studies show that children who spend time in nature are more inclined to care about their planet as adults later in life. People who care about something will take action to protect it. So take a walk or a hike to get outside, observe wildlife and interact with it. Explore the natural world by visiting forests, ponds, and meadows. Go birdwatching, have an eco-picnic, enjoy a camping adventure. Check in with your local Audubon chapter to get your family involved in a citizen science project, in Maine we have the annual spring count for frogs, but there are many programs and all of them need eager volunteers.
Celebrate the Earth, get serious about helping to protect this planet we call home, and take action today!
What will you be doing this Earth Day? Feel free to share your plans below, who knows, you might inspire someone to take action!