As Earth Day approaches on Friday, April 22nd I’m taking stock of the many small ways the staff at the Arboretum celebrate earth day every day.
· We plant gardens
· We water certain gardens by hand
· We grow vegetables in our Square Foot Garden and share the bounty
· We plant trees
· We compost food scraps from our Kids Can Cook program
· We carry refillable water bottles
· We collect rainwater
· We recycle
· We collect thin film plastic to recycle into new products
· We teach others about stewardship
· We are kind to each other
Here’s our challenge to you, be intentional, and do one thing to celebrate earth day this year.
In the main photo little Eli has taken on the challenge, he’s watering a garden. It’s a small gesture, yet planting a flower, watering it and watching it grow beautifies the earth and celebrates nature.
Below are a few activities and online resources to help you as you celebrate Earth Day in a meaningful way with your family
Storytime Books: Note: Please copy and paste the links into your browser
Earth Day Every Day by Lisa Bullard -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvdhsn-BFDI
Lotus and Feather - https://www.storylineonline.net/books/lotus-and-feather/ a story of friendship, kindness and respect for nature.
Here are 10 fun ideas for teaching children to respect and appreciate our environment and the importance of taking care of mother nature. (Excerpted)
1. Plant perennials. Head to your local garden center and decorate your home the way mother nature intended – with flowers! Perennials (flowers that come back every year) are easy to plant and will be a colorful reminder of your gardening efforts year after year.
2. Feed the birds. Make friends with your neighborhood birds by stringing Cheerios on yarn and hanging the goodie loops from trees. This is also a great fine motor tuning activity for your little ones.
3. Eat dinner by candlelight. Turn off the lights at dinnertime and dine by candlelight. Discuss the importance of turning off lights and appliances when not in use.
4. Watch an Earth Day friendly movie. The Lorax, about a yellow-mustached orange creature fighting to save his environment, is a great pick for younger kids. An Inconvenient Truth is perfect for tweens and teens.
5. Read a book about nature. The real life animals of Curious Critters make for an interesting and fun read for kids of all ages. Earth Day Every Day is a great book for introducing little ones to this green holiday.
6. Host a toy and clothing swap. Invite your friends and their kids over for a toy and clothing swap. Take a moment to discuss the benefits of reusing, repurposing and recycling.
7. Plant a tree. You’ll have a wonderful new, green friend that will grow along with your kids.
8. Gather used batteries. Remove any depleted batteries and bring them to a local battery recycling center. Find one at Call 2 Recycle.
9. Host a family crafting competition with garbage-bound odds and ends from around the home. Give your kids a selection of garbage bound odds and ends from around the home (boxes, ribbons, extra buttons, sandwich bag ties, etc.) and ask them to create a piece of art or a useful/unusual item.
10. Make a green family pact. Earth Day is the perfect day to create a green family pact. Discuss ways that your family can protect the environment: i.e. turn off lights after use, don’t let the faucets run, remember to recycle. Sign a pact promising to keep it green at home.
Happy Earth Day to our Arboretum family!