Advocacy
Five Ways to Get Your Kids Involved on Earth Day

Five Ways to Get Your Kids Involved on Earth Day

April 22, 2015

By Megan Boyle, Editorial Director

More than 20 million Americans came together in 1970 for the inaugural Earth Day. Much has changed in the 45 years since then, but protecting the environment is more important than ever.

Looking for ways to get your kids involved? Take the opportunity this Earth Day to share these five tips with your family. Even small habits can add up to a big difference for the environment.

Go Outdoors

There are few better ways to appreciate the environment than spending time outdoors.

  • Play outside today. Take your kids for a hike or adventure further afield during National Park Week.
  • Point out the trees, plants and animals you see and pick up litter along the paths.
  • Bring water in a reusable glass or stainless steel container, and don’t forget to pack sunscreen. (Kids hate sunscreen? Check out five ways to get your kid to wear sunscreen.)

Save Energy

Energy use is the leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions. In the U.S., nearly half of these emissions come from the energy we use in our homes and cars.

  • Unplug your game consoles and electronic devices, then walk—don’t drive—to a nearby park or grocery store. Bring along your reusable tote bags for supplies.
  • Open the windows in your home. You’ll save energy by not using a fan or air conditioner, and you’ll clear out indoor pollutants.

Cook Together

Celebrate the earth’s natural resources by eating and preparing healthy foods.

  • Visit a local farmer’s market to find fresh, seasonal ingredients.
  • Cook meals of whole, organic ingredients. Look for “USDA Certified Organic” to reduce your exposure to pesticides, contaminants, food additives and antibiotics.
  • Choose cast iron, enamel-coated cast iron and stainless steel for posts and pans, rather than nonstick.

Reduce Waste

Americans generated about 251 million tons of trash in 2012, according to the EPA’s most recent available figures. That’s 4.38 pounds per person per day.

  • Talk to your kids about recycling and help them identify which materials belong in the recycle bin instead of the trash. (Paper gets tossed more than any other materials; help change that.) Visit the EPA website to learn more about how to recycle common materials.
  • Up to 30 percent of household waste can be composted. Take a moment after mealtime to sort food items and encourage older kids to stir the compost pile.
  • Make it a game or contest. Reducing waste can be fun for your family.

Find an Event Near You

Celebrate Earth Day with other families and kids. Events are happening nationwide on April 22 and throughout the month. Find a family-friendly event near you.

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