Most children growing up today possess a keen awareness of their role in caring for the Earth. At school and within their families, they learn about the environment and how their actions have an impact on it.
Learning means nothing without subsequent action. Here are ten activities for families, neighborhoods, and school communities.
Plant a garden. The pride a child feels as he tends, cares for, and reaps the harvest in his own garden is immeasurable.
Donate or swap. Host a book drive. Gather up household items you no longer use and pass them on to others who can use them. A neighborhood swap sale is another way to exchange items you don’t need for ones you do need.
Recycle. Assign children a particular item (an empty milk jug, a cardboard box, or old magazines) and challenge them to find a way to reuse it or turn it into art.
Picnic. Have a picnic with locally grown food. Be sure to use cloth napkins and wrap food items in reusable containers. Packing a vegetarian meal will use less of the world’s energy than a meal containing meat.
Movie Night. Watch an Earth-oriented movie for inspiration. Try Wall-E, Ponyo, or Free Willy.
Clean Up. Gather a group of families or your school community to clean the local neighborhood, school grounds, or a nearby park.
Log it. Help your children experience the energy you are using on a daily basis. Track your water, your use of lights and electrical appliances. Visit your electric utility provider online or in person for energy-related activities.
Make Your Own. You can make anything! Try homemade shampoo, soap, or household cleaner. You can also make your own lip balm, sunscreen, or bug repellant.
Hike. Our appreciation for nature and willingness to protect her is enhanced when we spend time in the outdoors. Spend the day hiking or the weekend camping. Experience nature.
Drop Off. Demonstrate the proper disposal of household hazardous waste items. Things like vehicle batteries, auto fluids, and fire extinguishers should not be disposed of in your regular garbage. Pool chemicals and paint also need to be disposed of at a proper hazardous waste site.
Help your children learn more about the Earth and how to take care of it by showing them. Help your children make every action a conscious action.