How to Celebrate Earth Day all Year With Your Children
Posted: Apr 17, 2019
Earth Day is celebrated every April 22, but it’s easy to celebrate it all year with these ideas for how to be more eco-friendly with a family!
One fantastic way to celebrate Earth Day is by planting something. Many people recommend planting a tree, but starting a garden is also a great way to be more eco-friendly and get your kids involved. It is possible to grow food and herbs virtually anywhere, even if you don’t have a yard! Herbs like basil and mint are easy to find and grow in small containers. Tomatoes, particularly cherry tomatoes, and also good choices for smaller spaces. These environmental coloring pages for Earth Day have sheets that show sprouting seeds and children planting that can be helpful for teaching your children about how seeds germinate and grow.
Of course, if you’re gardening you should be composting, too! Starting a small compost pile is easy to do with plant-based kitchen trash like strawberry leaves and the tough ends of celery stalks. Eggs, coffee grounds, tea, leaves, and even weeds can make good compost, too!
Biking or walking instead of driving is another great way to tread more lightly on the Earth. Even if you can’t run errands on a bike where you live, you can still get outside and walk, skateboard, or bike with your kids instead of spending time indoors staring at a screen. If you want to try running errands by bike, look into a bike trailer for your kids. Make sure to add a visibility flag and for safety and ensure everyone is always wearing a helmet!
If you have a baby or toddler, using cloth diapers and/or reusable wipes is a fantastic way to save garbage and money. One recently study estimated that reusable diapers save 1,000 pounds of trash per year per child! Modern cloth diapers are very easy to use and can last for years, which means you can either purchase second-hand or sell your collection when you’re finished with them.
Making simple swaps to replace disposable, single-use items with reusable alternatives can make a huge impact over time. Reusable shopping bags have been gaining popularity for years, but there are many other disposable products you can eliminate! Here are a few disposable items you can easily trade for reusables:
Aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and parchment paper. This list of foil alternatives gives ideas for ways to cook and store food without all the waste!
Plastic straws. They make reusable silicone and stainless straws now!
Disposable water bottles.
Plastic zip top baggies. Use fabric bags for dry snacks and reusable zip top silicone bags for other items. Glass jars also work well for food storage. For an even more eco-friendly option, save your jars as they become empty instead of buying new jars. Spaghetti sauce, condiments like mustard and pickle relish, olives, peanut putter, jams, and many other common grocery items frequently come in reusable glass containers.
Purchasing low or zero waste grooming and toiletries is another easy way to make a big impact. Opt for bars of soap instead of body wash to reduce the amount of plastic you throw away. You can also buy shampoo and conditioner bars! Bamboo toothbrushes and combs/brushes made from biodegradable materials also help keep plastic out of landfills and waterways.
Picking up litter when you’re out and about is another way to help keep waterways clean. Sidewalk litter frequently ends up in storm drains and finds its way into local water sources, so picking up trash is a fantastic way to benefit the environment! If picking up every piece of trash you see just isn’t appealing to you, join a group that does an "adopt a highway" cleanup and participate in their local cleanup days. Many towns also have designated community cleanup days for local parks and lakes. These events are typically family-friendly and a great way to get your kids involved!
I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips for ways to celebrate Earth Day all year long with your family and find them helpful!
Natasha is a certified high school history teacher and blogger at The Artisan Life where she shares her love of crafting and gratitude.