Written by Thery McKinney
Edited by A. Noelle
The official Earth Day (April 22) has come and gone. It is filed away like so many other holidays only to be brought out again each year at this time. However, if you consider the opportunities that Earth Day generates, we can fill every day of the year with activities that benefit the environment and your family. Your children can develop more respect for their world, enhance and enjoy feelings of accomplishment, pride, and greater self-esteem. They can develop skills that will help them as adults to be responsible and care for their world. You can help them achieve these rewards.
The first Earth Day was on April 22, 1970. It began as a wake-up call to educate people about our planet’s dire situation. This included the threat of nuclear disasters; the gradual depletion of clean air and water; the fear of overpopulation; and the lack of food resources. “Save the Planet” became the cry of the day. In order to prevent this doomsday from occurring, it was and still is necessary for everyone to make lifestyle changes – to reduce waste, to recycle, to reclaim, and to replenish. No fun mentioned.
Over the years, the message has turned into appreciating and respecting Earth’s natural resources. The message now is one that says, “If everyone joins in, we can achieve miraculous results.” We can “Save the Planet” through creative solutions and fun activities shared by the entire family.
If we concentrate, just for now, on activities involving the children, we are left with two basic types: those that are practical and useful for our individual families (i.e., opportunities to save, not waste) and others that are directed at taking responsibility for the condition of our Earth. While many schools are getting involved and “Going Green,” there are many possibilities for a child to get involved and stay involved at home. At home, you are the role model. You have the chance to encourage and direct your child’s motivations to develop good green habits that can last their lifetime.
Check out this page for inspiration: “How to Make Every Day Earth Day with Kids.” There are delightful suggestions for using various empty containers to create games and puzzles. There are numerous useful projects that benefit the environment and nature like constructing birdfeeders with recycled materials. There are even many ways to go green with the family pet! Of course, you will want to listen to your children’s ideas as well; it is amazing – the innovations and solutions they can generate on their own.
Using recycled items during an arts and crafts activity can help encourage artistic creativity, foster scientific curiosity, and fulfill eager imaginations. One of my favorite projects is making musical instruments out of empty plastic bottles. There are even Earth Day songs for children of all ages!
Look out Picasso! Look out Einstein! Look out Mozart!
These suggestions are safe, inexpensive, and FUN! Consider them as the beginning of lifelong habits that can make the difference in the future of our environment – a difference in the quality of our life and the planet. Make every day Earth Day!
For more green ideas, click here.