On the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans from all walks of life joined together to speak out against the deterioration of the environment and demanded change. As a result, the Environmental Protection Agency was created, the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts were passed, and the modern environmental movement was born.
More than 1 billion people in over 190 countries participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.
How do we celebrate Earth Day and teach our kids about its importance?
How to Celebrate Earth Day with Kids
My number one suggestion is to get outside and experience nature.
When you are outside, take notice of the animals and plant life around you. Learn about them. Appreciate their differences. Talk about what happens when they’re gone.
Start a garden – local food, especially organic, is better for our environment.
Read a Book
My second suggestion is to read a book. I have a list of 11 books that are perfect for Earth Day. The post has video read-alouds of each of the books plus activity ideas to go along with them.
I Am Jane Goodall by Brad Meltzer is my top choice. It tells the story of Jane Goodall’s life from Jane’s perspective. The end of the book does a great job of talking about how our choices affect the world. My favorite quote from Jane Goodall is in the book: “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.”
My second favorite is Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World by Laurie Lawlor. The story begins with Rachel Carson as a little girl. It shows her love of nature and how she eventually went on to become a biologist. Her book Silent Spring brought light to the harmful effects of DDT and other chemicals on the environment. It was responsible for many of the environmental laws we have regarding chemicals today.
Be a Role Model
What changes can we make to help protect our Earth? Share those ideas with your kids.
The EPA has several recommendations for greener living. Take a look and choose one or two things to try with your kids. They have ideas for sustainable living, greener vehicles, reducing trash, choosing greener products, greener industrial and business practices, and cleaner energy choices.
Looking for more ways to celebrate Earth Day? Earthday.org has 51 ways to help restore our Earth.