April 22nd is a wonderful day to celebrate and commit to care for this beautiful planet we live on, but why not celebrate Earth Day every day!? We've put together a list of seven of our favorite Earth Day activities that can be done throughout the year!
1. Commit to leading an eco-friendly sustainable lifestyle.
Brainstorm ways you can live a more eco-friendly and sustainable life. Make a commitment as a family to a plan of action. Click here for a free printable.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
bike or walk instead of drive a car
use a drying rack or line dry outside instead of your dryer
take shorter showers
unplug electrical items when not in use
turn off lights
turn off water when brushing your teeth
make or buy secondhand instead of buying new
install a rain barrel
grow your own vegetables
shop at your local farmer's market
use the back side of paper before recycling
go meatless a few days a week
use reusable tote bags every where you shop, not just the grocery store
stop using plastic straws
The list could go on and on and on and on!
"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." -The Lorax
2. Make a plantable paper earth.
We love this craft because it not only recycles paper but turns it in flowers. We love making our own paper and by adding seeds this becomes a win-win! Click here to get directions.
"You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make." -Jane Goodall
3. Plant seeds in newspaper pots.
Another win-win here! Recycle newspaper into seedling pots. The pots can be used for your vegetable seeds, flower seeds, plants, trees, etc. Click here to get directions on how to use a soup can to make the pots.
"To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow." -Audrey Hepburn
4. Teach your kids about composting (and start one of your own)
Teach your kids how a compost works by making a sandwich bag compost. Composting is a wonderful way to reduce waste from ending up in the landfill or ocean. Try this as an experiment for your kids! Click here for directions. Need help starting your own compost? Click here for an informative article.
"Refuse what you do not need; reduce what you do need; reuse what you consume; recycle what you cannot refuse, reduce, or reuse; and rot (compost) the rest." -Bea Johnson
5. Add a properly designed insect hotel to your yard.
Insects are highly beneficial to our environment; in fact, they are imperative! Why not add an insect hotel to your yard for these awesome creatures. A DIY insect hotel can be made from natural or recycled materials for your garden, ensuring the wood you use is free of varnish, pesticides, etc. Make sure you do it properly though. We found a great article here explaining good insect hotel designs.
"If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back into the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos." -Edward O. Wilson
6. Pick up trash.
Common sense, right!? But most people don't pick up trash they see lying around. I can't tell you how many plastic bags we've seen stuck in trees lately or scraps of paper littering the parking lots. You don't have to pick up old cigarette butts with your bare hands (unless you are ok with that...) but scraps of paper, plastic bags, etc can easily be picked up and recycled or thrown away. Just wash your hands afterward!
"To leave the world better than you found it, sometimes you have to pick up other people's trash." -Bill Nye
7. Plant a tree
The Earth Day Network has a goal of planting 7.8 billion trees by 2020 – one tree for every person alive. Click here for more information about this campaign and here for more information about the need to protect and plant trees.
"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is right now." -Chinese Proverb