Celebrating Earth Day at Home
2020 has already proved to be a year that we won't quickly forget! All around the world people are learning what it looks like to social distance, stay six feet apart, and self quarantine. Our lives look so much more different now in April than they did in January. People have had to figure out new ways to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, births, and weddings. And while Earth Day might not be high on your priority list with everything else going on right now, if you're anything like me, you're looking for fun things to celebrate and ways to break the monotony of Groundhog Day.
If you'd like to add some fun to your week and celebrate Earth Day this year, I've got 10 things you can do with your kids or by yourself. You can even spread out the activities over the course of the month. Some of these things might not be feasible with your current situation (don't make extra trips to stores if it's not necessary!) Choose the things that bring you joy and make it a fun day!
10 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day
Watch a Nature Documentary - Our favorite documentary is "Mission Blue" on Netflix. This documentary follows Dr. Sylvia Earle and her campaign to help save the oceans and keep them blue. She has been diving since the 1960s and is still going strong (as well as traveling the world to educate everyone she can!) This is my favorite of all the ocean documentaries and Dr. Earle presents the issue in a non-emotional way that is so relatable.
Watch Wall-E - This Disney cartoon was released over 10 years ago but it still remains a favorite in our home! Just in case you missed out on this movie - it's part action, part love story, and part comedy. Wall-E is a trash compactor robot and he has the task of slowly cleaning up the earth. This is a perfect one to watch with kids on Earth Day.
Clean Out a Cabinet - You've likely had lots of time at home to observe the state of your cabinets and closets. Now is the perfect time to start a donation basket! Start collecting the clothes your kids have grown out of and the books you know you won't read again. Put it in a basket or box in the back of a closet (this way you won't have to look at it and won't be tempted to pull things out again). Continue to add to it and when it's an appropriate time to donate it, take it to your local thrift store.
Paint Your Favorite Outdoor Scene - This is a great way to reminisce on your favorite outdoor places and remember what you love about being there. Just looking at pictures of our favorite trips makes me happy. I love remembering the beautiful places we've traveled and also thinking about future trips. You'll be motivated to visit your beloved spot again when you're able to travel.
Get in the Kitchen and Make Something Homemade - There are lots of reasons homemade is better! Making a favorite recipe or snack at home is healthier for you, costs less, and probably produces less waste than a store-bought version. Being in the kitchen together can also be fun for the whole family. If you're not sure where to start for Earth Day, try my Green Spinach Pancakes!
Read a New Book - We've slowly collected books about animals and nature that are perfect for Earth Day, but also all year long. One of our favorite books is Animals by the Numbers by Steve Jenkins. It has amazing animal facts from the tiniest animal to the deadliest. You will no doubt learn new things! Another great one is Out of School and Into Nature by Suzanne Slade. It is a beautifully illustrated biography about one of the first women naturalists, Anna Comstock. If you're looking for something a little more in depth I would recommend The World is Blue by Dr. Syliva Earle or The Little Book of Planet Earth by Rolf Meissner. If there isn't enough time to ship a book for Earth Day, remember that the Kindle editions are great options, too!
Research an Animal - If your kids learned about an interesting new animal from a book you read together why not learn about a couple of the animals?! The National Geographic Kids website is a wonderful resource for reading articles and watching short videos about a wide variety of animals. Your kids can even research new parts of the world that interest them!
Plan a Spring/Summer Garden - While you might not be able to go out and buy everything for a garden, now is the perfect time to plan it. You can research what grows well in your area for the Spring and Summer seasons and make a blueprint for what to plant. We love having vegetables and herbs growing year around that we can use in our homemade meals. Pinterest is full of gardening ideas and the website from Planet Natural is a helpful resource, too.
Pick up Trash Around Your Home - Even during a time of quarantine you can take a walk around your home and do a trash pick up. Start with finding just 10 pieces of trash. Things as small as bottle caps or wrappers are usually blowing around. You get fresh air and exercise and your neighborhood gets a clean up - that's a win-win!
Take a Walk - I know, I know. It's so simple I almost didn't include it. But something as simple as taking a walk on Earth Day is the perfect time to appreciate this incredible place we live. It's also a great thing to do if you have kids. You can talk about everything you see from the bugs living in the dirt to the shapes of the clouds in the sky. Teach your kids to appreciate the planet and they will want to protect it.
Remember these wise words from Jacques Cousteau - "People protect what they love." May we help future generations learn to love and protect our earth!
If you'd still like to read more about conservation I've got plenty for you to dig into in the Conservation section of my blog. I can't wait to see how everyone celebrates Earth Day this year!
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