Every year I write several blog posts about the crafts, hikes and activities you can do with you family for Earth Day. But this year, despite an email inbox overflowing with press releases for the latest Earth Day apps, toys, games, and events, I couldn't motivate myself to write about a single one.
I was stumped as to why — after all as a self-proclaimed "green mom," I generally love to celebrate Earth Day with my kids. But I finally realized that this year, I just want to keep it simple. I don't want to buy anything. I don't want to attend anything. I don't want to watch anything. I just want to hang with my kids and celebrate the planet while we think of better ways to protect it.
Here are a few ideas I have in mind for our easy-going, eco-savvy Earth Day celebrations:
Take a walk. You don't have to spend hours on a grand hike in your nearest national park to celebrate Earth Day (although that certainly does have merit.) This year, why not just take a walk with your kids around the block, through the neighborhood, down the city street, or along the gravel path? Experience and enjoy the Earth — the sounds, the smells (okay, city folk might want to skip that one), the colors, and the sights — right where you live. You don't have to drive two hours to experience the Earth; it is everywhere around you.
Read a book. Don't worry about buying the latest eco-savvy kid's book. Just walk over to your bookshelf and find a book that has something — anything — to do with nature. If you've got something by Dr. Seuss or Shel Silverstein or Jan Brett, all the better. If not, just enjoy the books you have with your kids. You'll be glad you did. And so will the planet.
Play in the recycle box. Why run around looking for supplies for the perfect Earth Day craft when you have everything you need right in your recycling bin? Trust me, kids don't need instructions to make a masterpiece out of empty toilet paper rolls, egg cartons and a milk jug.
Have a chat. One of the most important things you can do for the planet this Earth Day is to talk to your kids about why nature is so important. Do your kids know your favorite animal? Do they know why you take the time to wash out and reuse your glass jars or hang your clothes on the line? Take a few minutes on Earth Day to tell them how important the Earth is to you and how you as a family can work together to protect it.
Have a easy-going and eco-savvy Earth Day!