Caring for our planet should be a daily task we all take part in as Earth is the only home we have.
But we get an annual reminder with Earth Day, which is on April 22.
What is Earth Day
The first Earth Day was commemorated on April 22, 1970. The date was marked by 20 million Americans who promoted sustainability to protect our environment. It has since become an annual date the world stops to take part in, with a call to action on ways to protect the planet.
How can kids get involved in Earth Day?
This year’s Earth Day theme is ‘Restore our Earth’. Driving change can be as simple as starting a new habit for conservation.
There are plenty of ways to get kids involved in Earth Day. There are various virtual events, but some simple home projects could make the biggest impact on how our kids interact and protect the environment.
Teaching kids about sustainability and conservation should be an everyday occurrence. Simple practices like recycling, composting and even buying less plastic can help protect Earth both now and in the future.
Here are 10 fun and easy Earth Day activities for families. They can be done any day of the year which will help the planet. The why behind each activity will educate kids on how they can protect the Earth for future generations.
1. List ways to conserve water
Water is a precious resource and despite the recent rain we had throughout Summer, our dams are susceptible to plummeting levels if water conservation habits aren’t taken on board.
Get kids to list ways they can conserve water in the home. Compare water bills from quarter to quarter to see how much water has been used. This list is a great start in conserving water around the home.
2. Make a Bee Watering Station in the garden
The world’s bee population has started to weaken due to loss of habitat, increase of monocrops and the use of pesticides. There are also other contributing factors, but the disappearance of bees can have a catastrophic effect on our food supply as bees pollinate flowers and this pollination is necessary for crops to grow. Without crops, our food supply diminishes or simply disappears with the bees.
To help bees thrive, a watering station can be set up in your garden. Bees need access to water so they can continue to pollinate our crops. Pollination is thirsty work, so helping bees with water supply makes it easier for them to continue their work.
3. Turn offcuts of PVC pipe into a mini Frog Hotel
Another creature which needs our help are various species of frogs. In Australia, there are 208 species of frogs of which 30 are vulnerable to extinction. To help frogs thrive in your garden, why not create a safe space for them to explore and multiply with a Frog Hotel?
4. Upcycle a Jar into a Bird Feeder
Birds can be friendly characters to your front or backyard. What a delight to see a range of lorikeets, galahs and magpies congregate in your garden. It’s said when you’re friendly to magpies in your garden, they are less likely to swoop you in Spring.
A bird feeder can be a friendly way to interact with nature in your garden.
5. Grow your own seedlings and plant a veggie garden
Planting your own veggies makes good use of your back garden. It’s also a great way to learn how food is grown and the effort it takes to care for the seedlings so they grow into a delicious crop.
6. Start a compost
Instead of throwing your food scraps into the bin, place them into a compost. The compost soil can be used in the veggie garden and you’re saving less scraps going to rubbish tips.
7. Create a lunchbox with no individually wrapped food
Why not explore ways to create a plastic or wrap free lunch box? Select individual food portions which can’t come packaged. Think fresh ingredients like fruit and vegetables. Consider how this can be turned into a habit all year round!
8. Recycle plastic toys into a piece of art
Have your kids got lots of little plastic toys from McDonalds Happy Meals or Kinder Surprise Eggs? Maybe they used to collect Shopkins or itty bitty toys to play with?
Before you throw them away, donate what you don’t use and consider upcycling the toys into a new project like a Mirror of Happiness or Snow Globe?
9. Use buckets for a recycling station
Separating rubbish into recyclables is as easy as setting up buckets for different materials. You can have one bucket for soft drink bottles, another for cardboard boxes and another for tins. Think about ways these items can be reused for craft or play. Maybe the bottles can be exchanged for cash?
10. Pick up rubbish at your local park
The wider community can benefit from less rubbish discarded in public places like the park. Grab a bag and pick up rubbish in your local park. You may even be able to sort these pieces into your recycling station.