Earth Day has been a formally-recognized calendar event since 1970 and is celebrated every year on April 22. It began as a day to demonstrate support for environmental protections and continues to encourage environmental initiatives.
Earth Day is celebrated worldwide, and many clubs, organizations, schools, and companies participate in environmental festivities to recognize the holiday. But it doesn’t have to stop there! Earth Day can be an excellent opportunity for families to bond over environmental activities and spend time outdoors, as well.
Below, we’ve listed a few easy ways to get kids interested and involved in the Earth Day fun! Parents can use these opportunities to teach their children the importance of protecting the earth – not just on Earth Day, but every day.
Many kids love a bit of good, healthy competition, so why not channel that same idea into picking up litter?
On Earth Day, set aside time for the whole family to go out and help clean up the earth. Pick up litter in your neighbourhood, along the road, in your favourite park, or even on the beach. Set a goal to gather as much trash as possible from the designated area that day, and to make things more exciting for your kiddos, have a special award or treat for whoever collects the most exciting piece of litter or the largest amount of trash. You will increase excitement and interest among your children this way!
Picking up litter on Earth Day is one easy way to set an example for children about the importance of respecting our earth and keeping it clean. Who knows – it might even transcend Earth Day and become a weekly or monthly bonding activity for your family!
Children tend to remember and internalize what they absorb at a young age, so teach them early about the importance of reducing their ecological footprint.
Discuss a simplified version of the food supply chain with your kids, so they understand the environmental impact our food choices have, specifically red meat. Fill up their plates with local, seasonal produce, and discuss options and alternatives to beef and pork that they’d like to try out. Refrain from wasting food by purchasing only what is needed in a given week.
Finally, outside of dietary choices, you can introduce your children to forms of transportation that are more carbon-neutral than cars. Walk or bicycle on your outings if the option is available, or take public transit with them as a fun adventure!
The goal is for environmentally-conscious choices to become an intuitive part of your children’s lives. As they grow, they will naturally adopt a more eco-conscious lifestyle based on what they learned in childhood.
Trees are the lungs of the Earth, little carbon suckers, so make it a family event and get planting!
Whether you decide to take part in a community-wide tree-planting event or choose to plant a single tree in your backyard, these trees will always serve as a reminder of the bonding moment you experienced as a family. More than a bonding experience, you will be working together to improve backyard and community biodiversity and give wildlife a new home. Plus, your kids will probably relish the opportunity to get their hands dirty!
Speaking of dirt, there’s more than one way to plant roots. Consider growing a vegetable garden as a family that you can benefit from throughout the year—having a garden will teach your children how to live off the earth, how to tend a garden, and how to grow their food – all skills that are becoming less and less taught in modern society.
There is nothing quite like seeing the fruits of your labour, whether it’s a beautiful tree or a flourishing vegetable garden. When Earth Day 2032 rolls around, your children will admire the tree they planted with you a decade ago and recall that moment fondly.
Perhaps one of the best ways to celebrate Earth Day is simply getting outside and connecting with nature.
You might consider getting the whole family together for a hike at your favourite conservation area or bringing along a picnic to enjoy by a serene lake or meadow. Be sure to bring along some binoculars to watch unique birds, or a magnifying glass for a closer look at interesting flora.
In an age that is so heavily tied to digital screens, there’s nothing quite like logging-off and getting into nature for inspiration, some deep breathing, and a reminder that the Earth is the only home we’ve got and it’s our responsibility to protect it.
There are ultimately so many different ways to participate and engage on Earth Day, and make it a memorable and meaningful experience for the whole family. The suggestions we’ve included in this article are a great place to start, so consider these and some of your unique ideas to plan a special Earth Day that you will never forget!
Want to organize your own Earth Day community activity? Canada Protection Plan insureds are also Foresters members and can access a financial grant to help organize volunteer and fun family activities that support Earth Day!
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