Five Ways to Celebrate Earth Day


As a mother, I love finding creative ways to celebrate holidays with my family so we can create traditions and make memories. Carving pumpkins at Halloween, driving to look at Christmas lights at night, preparing class Valentine cards, and participating in Easter egg hunts are ways to remember the simple joys of childhood as we mark the seasons of the year.

But, after Easter, we have months until the next big holiday, months until the tubs of decorations find their way out of the attic again. So, I look for opportunities to celebrate the small moments and the less popular holidays, too.

Created about 50 years ago to draw attention to issues of environmental protection, now almost 200 countries participate in what may be the largest civic day of action in the world. While ecological awareness may not be a concept that young children can easily grasp, finding small ways to enjoy and care for creation is something that people of any age can appreciate. Here are five ways you and your family can engage in Earth Day:

  1. This may be the most obvious and cliché action: Earth Day is a great time to plant, to get your hands in the dirt in a tactile way. From planting simple seeds to planting a tree, gardening is a great way to participate in the process of growth which sustains our planet. You could enlist the help of your children in cleaning out a flower bed or a planter and freshening up something around your home.
  2. Take a walk or a hike. If you are feeling adventurous, try a new place to enjoy nature around Tarrant County. Take a stroll through the Botanical Garden in Fort Worth. Take a hike at the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge. Go on a nature walk at River Legacy in Arlington. Attend an interactive class at Chisholm Trail Community Park. Walk by some waterfalls at the new Airfield Falls Trailhead and Conservation Park.
  3. Change one habit by simply reducing what you consume. Always have canvas shopping bags in the car so you can reduce having paper or plastic bags. (If you are only buying a few things and you forgot your bag, let the cashier know that you do not need one.) Bring your own water bottle instead of using plastic ones. Save the Ziplocks and pack your lunches in reusable containers. Use cloth napkins instead of paper ones. Forego the plastic straws at bars and restaurants (if you have to have a straw for you or your kid, bring your own reusable straw).  
  4. Find a way to reuse things before you recycle. Take your Amazon boxes and packing peanuts to an independent store that ships packages. (I even found a place that recycles Styrofoam in our metroplex!) And, recycle something that takes more effort than your residential recycle bin. For example, collect all types of plastic bags (dry cleaners, paper good wrappings, grocery bags) and recycle them at your local grocery store recycle bin.
  5. Use your recycle bin as a source for creative fun. My kids loved their “invention centers” in kindergarten and first grade where they could use their imagination to create their own design out of items from the recycling bin. This is a genius way to teach your children about recycling and exercise their creative muscles.

Earth Day is a great way to enjoy creation while also taking care of our planet and its resources. People of all ages can participate in this holiday and make a difference in the world, too!


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