Earth Day – A Valuable Reminder Each Spring

Earth Day, celebrated each year on April 22nd, dates back to 1970, and has become an honored tradition and valuable reminder of the importance of taking care of our planet. The original idea came to founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda.

Now, 45 years later, Earth Day continues to broaden the base of support for environmental programs, rekindles public commitment, and builds community activism around the world through a broad range of events and activities. Earth Day is the largest civic event in the world, with more than a billion people participating in campaigns every year.

So how can you get involved? Each spring, Earth Day provides a fantastic opportunity for your entire family to contribute. From showing your children how to use water wisely around the house to teaching them (and yourself) to reuse and repurpose common household objects, there are lots of activities that will help your family embrace the idea of a lifelong dedication to making every day Earth Day.

Here are just a few ideas for ways your family can get involved:

  • Recycle! Recycling is a pretty simple concept: take something that isn’t useful anymore and make it into something new instead of just throwing it away. Recycling items such as paper, glass, and cans reduces the amount of garbage sent to landfills, as well as pollution. .
  • Go shopping! Group your outings to save on fuel. Go to the market, the hardware store, and the book store all in the same trip. Keep reusable shopping bags handy, as it takes a disposable plastic shopping bag up to 1,000 years to decompose in your local landfill. Remember to buy local when you can, in order to support your community and reduce the energy waste incurred by transporting goods long distances.
  • Kitchen time. If you’re doing more cooking at home these days, you’re saving the environment and a little money all at the same time. By hitting the drive-thru less often, you’re reducing the amount of packaging material you contribute to landfills, as well as the energy necessary to produce, contain, and transport all that paper, plastic, polystyrene foam (Styrofoam), and cardboard.
  • Get planting! Planting a garden is one of the best ways to share the Earth with your children. It will teach them about the seasons as well as the cycle of life. Gardening offers lessons in the weather, chemistry, and the local wildlife. Your kids will also learn that some creatures like worms, bees, and ladybugs are good friends to have in an herb garden or vegetable patch with important jobs to do.
  • Consider volunteering. You may not think you have the time or energy to volunteer, but there are lots of ways you can contribute with just a few hours a week. When you lend a hand on Earth Day and beyond, you help your neighbors and teach your children that becoming involved in environmental causes is worth one of your most precious gifts — your time.

Now you have several ideas to get started in recognizing and honoring Earth Day this April. Not only will it feel good to help our planet, but these tips will provide you with ways to ensure you’re spending both fun and valuable time with your family.

About Susie Almaneih

Susie Almaneih spent several years during her young adulthood teaching children dance at her church group, as well as other cultural-based activities. Susie now spends as much time as she can giving back to the families in her community. Over the years, this love for community has evolved into a deeper love for delivering positive and creative content and awareness to families of all ages.

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