On April 22, the world will celebrate the 51st annual Earth Day—a holiday devoted to environmental protection and conservation.
With the coronavirus quarantine in full swing, this Earth Day will be celebrated from the couch. And we’ve rounded up some tools and resources to teach your kids the importance of the holiday and how you can live a more eco-cautious lifestyle as a family—all from the comfort of your own home.
Founder of the movement, Gaylord Nelson, came up with the idea after Nelson (then, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin) witnessed a catastrophic oil spill in Santa Barbara California in 1969.
The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, sparked the birth of the modern environmental movement that still roars today.
Now, Earth Day is observed annually on April 22 by over a billion people in 193 countries and countless cities, including the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex of course.
To celebrate 50 years of eco-friendly efforts, the Earth Day Network strives to provide families and individuals with the tools, information and the communities needed to make an impact and push forward change.
Tools and Tips to Educate Your Kids
So, what does all of this mean for you and your children? Since schools across Texas are closed due to COVID-19, spread some environmental and climate knowledge to your littles ones with a few of these resources. Earth Day is an educational holiday, after all.
Coloring Pages: What better way to introduce an Earth Day conversation to your kids than with some arts and crafts? While your kiddos color, you can also show them Planet Earth or SciShow mentioned below—a win-win! All you need to do is download the coloring pages and gather some coloring tools.
Online Quizzes: For the family that already dabbles in the eco-friendly lifestyle, give your little ones a quiz to see what kind of planet protector they are. It’s a fun and interactive way to engage your kids in Earth Day while still being educational.
Plant Earth: If you’re looking for a show to educate yourself and your kids, try this BBC docuseries narrated by David Attenborough. It shows an up-close look at the animal kingdom, while also showing how their ecosystems have been affected by climate change.
Planet Earth can be found on streaming services like Amazon and Google Play. If you have trouble, we’ve also seen full episodes of the series uploaded on YouTube. (Our Planet is also on Netflix—but be cautious, as it shows animal kingdom gore.)
Pro-tip: If your kid has specific interests (such as monkeys, dolphins, lizards, etc.), the episodes are divided up by environments like grasslands, deserts and jungles. Try picking an episode more geared toward that interest (i.e. “From Pole to Pole” would show polar bears and more arctic animals).
SciShow “Happy Earth Day!”: For the kids that learn through TV, try out this SciShow episode on Youtube Kids. The 17-minute-long show runs through the key concepts of Earth Day with fun graphics and cartoons to keep your kiddos engaged.
How to Make an Impact
Now that you’ve educated your kids on Earth Day, it’s time to make an impact. The Earth Day Network outlines a few things your family can implement to help protect the environment. We’ve picked a few you can do from the comfort of your home (or backyard):
- Plant (or donate) a tree or garden
- Use eco-friendly cleaning supplies (eliminate harsh chemicals)
- Maintain your car (make sure your tires are inflated properly and air filter is changed every 15,000 miles)
- Eliminate single use products
- Read documents online instead of printing
- Reduce your meat consumption (Hello, meatless Mondays!)
- Move your thermostat down two degrees in winter and up two degrees in the summer
- Start a family compost to throw away food scraps
For a full list of environmentally cautious life tips, click here for Earth Day Networks full list of recommendations. Remember, every little bit helps!
Do you have other ideas for how to celebrate Earth Day at home? Tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image courtesy of iStock.