In recognition of Earth Day on April 22nd, many households plan to get connected with the earth by helping create meaningful change and making the planet a healthier place to live. This is also a great opportunity to show your kids how being a responsible homeowner or renter includes taking measures every day to save energy and reduce waste around our homes and neighbourhoods. Here are some activities that will incite teaching moments, promote learning opportunities and create fun for the entire family.
Connect with nature
Exploring Mother Nature is a perfect activity for Earth Day. Whether visiting a local pond or exploring trails and forests, take the time to appreciate and discover your surroundings. Organize a treasure hunt to inspire fun and learning, identify birds, bugs and wildlife, and capture pictures of unique sights. Continue the fun at home by creating a memory book using your favourite photos from the day along with collected items such as leaves, rocks and flowers, or research some of the plants and foliage you encountered. Remember to take a garbage bag for collecting debris.
Clean up the community
Join an organized clean-up group or gather your family and friends, and conduct your own by visiting a park, beach, trail or simply exploring the neighbourhood. Removing litter will make the community more attractive and safe for everyone so don your gloves, grab a few garbage bags and get outside. Add a fun element by seeing who can collect the most or fill their bag the fastest. Return glass bottles and donate refunds to earth-friendly causes and don’t forget to separate materials into garbage, recycling or composting.
Create a garden
Playing in the dirt can be relaxing for both kids and adults alike. Planting a flower, vegetable or herb garden is a great activity for the whole family as you learn how things grow and work together to ensure they succeed. If you don’t have a sizeable outdoor space, create a container garden for a balcony or porch. And if you’re hindered by inclement weather, plant seeds indoors, which can be transplanted outside when fairer skies permit. Start your garden on Earth Day and reap the rewards all season long.
Plant a tree
Spring is the perfect season for watching nature come alive and it’s the ideal time to give back to the earth by planting a tree. Pick a spot in your backyard, in a community garden (if permitted), or participate in a tree-planting project in your community. Teach the family about the benefits of one of most powerful tools for combatting climate change including how trees improve air quality, preserve the soil, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide homes and shelter for furry and feathered friends alike.
Get on your bike
Regardless of your chosen Earth Day activity, be sure to leave the car at home. Or, make the bike ride itself the activity and head to your favourite trail, discover a new one, explore the neighbourhood or a nearby town. With warmer weather finally upon us, it’s a perfect time for the family to get active in the fresh air and reduce pollution at the same time.
Create up-cycled crafts
Sustainability and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects go hand in hand when using recycled materials. Tap into your collective creativity by making nature-inspired greeting cards, construct a milk carton bird feeder or decorate a cardboard box or tin can to house craft supplies. The fun and inventive possibilities are only limited by your imagination.
Attend an Earth Day event
Check your local newspaper or online newsletter to find out about community and city-run, family-friendly events such as educational workshops, group hikes or recycling and drop-off drives. For more information, visit the official Earth Day Canada website.
Celebrating our planet and teaching future generations about the importance of its care will help create a happier and healthier place to live. And Earth Day is just the start – conscious change should be practiced and promoted all year round. So, find your inspiration and breathe in all that our beautiful planet has to offer.