Earth Day is almost here! Normally communities would be celebrating with beach and highway cleanups, festivals and expos, group hikes and bike rides, tree plantings, and other earth-loving activities. Not this year.
Earth Day at a Distance
Even though the usual festivities and activities are not an option thanks to coronavirus and social distancing, you can still head outside and enjoy nature (weather permitting). Soak up some sun, watch the birds and enjoy the fresh air. Have a picnic in your front yard. Tend to plants you’ve been neglecting. Take advantage of this strange new normal and slow down.
Keep the Good Habits
While you’re laying in your hammock or chilling in your lawn chair, think about how social distancing has changed your daily life and routines. Are there changes that benefit the earth that you could continue even after social distancing has ended? Small changes like using more towels and less paper towels, reusable containers in place of plastic wrap, and consolidating your shopping trip to minimize driving can have a big impact.
Talk to Your Kids
I’ve heard people say it’s our job to fix what their generation screwed up. Truth. But it is also our responsibility to pass on lessons to the ones who come next! Take some time today to have a talk with your kids about how we can be stewards of the environment.
It sounds so easy, but have a real conversation. Reduce, Reuse Recycle is a great slogan, but what does it mean? How can you implement this in your daily life to have a positive impact on the environment?
To help get the conversation started, I’ve included a few videos. Scroll to the bottom of this post to watch some kid-friendly videos and songs about taking care of the earth. Some of them are a bit painful if you ask me (think Baby Shark type repetition), but my kid enjoyed them, so hopefully yours will too.
Make a Commitment
It’s good to talk about how we can and should take better care of Earth, but talk is cheap! Spend some time this Earth Day deciding on real, actionable things you can do (or not do) to have a positive impact on the earth and environment. If you are looking for some clear ideas on what you can do, I recommend checking out the 2019 Plastic Free July Eco Challenge or my post about Plastic Free July 2018. The challenge is over, but you can still view the actions and challenges for inspiration.
Once you decide on your earth friendly promises, put them in writing. Post reminders by the door so you remember to grab your reusable shopping bags. Set up a recycle bin with labels of what can and cannot be recycled in your area. Put a list on your desk for daily reminders. We used this Earth Day Promises writing activity freebie and Kawaii Lineart Bundle from teacherspayteachers.com along with some construction paper and double-sided tape to display our promises on the dishwasher (the only surface not already covered with cart projects).
If you haven’t heard, nonprofits are taking a huge hit to funding. This is especially true for places that rely on ticket sales and attendance for income. Galas, road races and charity auctions have been postponed and canceled. If you are fortunate enough to still have a job and income right now, consider making a donation to an earth-friendly organization.
Personally, we will be contributing to the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. It might not seem like an obvious Earth Day donation choice, but the Jacksonville Zoo and other AZA accredited facilities make huge contributions to conservation efforts around the world. They are also working diligently to study and protect endangered species of plants and animals along with their habitats.
Okapi Conservation Project is another organization at the top of our list. Their work has a huge impact on the protection of the okapi and other species that share its habitat. They work hard to support efforts that prevent deforestation, stop poaching and benefit the communities in the area. Seriously some great humanitarian work going on here!
How will you be celebrating Earth Day this year?
You know how we are celebrating, appreciating and supporting nature this year. What are you doing? I’d love to hear how you and your family are recognizing Earth Day in spite of social distancing limitations.
Earth Day Videos
I CAN SAVE THE EARTH by Alison Inches and Viviana Garofoli – Children’s Book – Read aloud
Earth Day Song | Reduce, Reuse, Recycle | The 3 R’s of Recycling
Happy Earth Day! | SciShow Kids
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repeat | Recycling Ideas For Kids | Toffee TV