8 Ways to (Still) Celebrate Earth Day With Your Family
You can celebrate Earth Day without leaving your home!
Every year since 1970, April 22nd has marked the day we celebrate Earth. That’s right, this year is the 50th anniversary of our very first celebration of Earth Day!
It may feel like we’re too limited in our activities to properly celebrate Earth Day this year, but the reality is there’s plenty of ways to celebrate Earth Day right at home.
Dr. Harbert and the rest of the team at Pediatric Dental Specialists of Greater Nebraska put together a great list of Earth Day activities for kids that will help them learn more about the planet and how we can build a better relationship with it.
Read on for 8 awesome ways to celebrate Earth Day without breaking social distancing.
1. Start a compost bin.
Composting is a great way to recycle organic matter so it doesn’t clog up your local landfill. Plus, compost makes an amazing addition to your garden. Your plants will love this nutrient-rich food, and you can ditch the chemical-heavy fertilizers.
To start a compost bin, you’ll want a plastic or mesh container you can keep outdoors. Next, you need to know what can go into your compost. This includes things like coffee grounds, tea bags, nutshells, leaves, and fruit and veggie scraps, but it excludes things like meat, which will attract hungry critters.
Composting is a great kid-friendly activity because it teaches them about food waste, decomposition, and more. They’ll see a huge, natural transition over time as recognizable organic matter becomes more akin to dirt!
2. Use fewer disposable items like paper cups.
Since we’re going out less, we’re eating and drinking at home more. That means we’re naturally using fewer paper cups and styrofoam containers. Make a household commitment to only use reusable dishware while at home, and brainstorm ways to cut down on things like paper cups and plastic bottles in the future. That way, everyone can get in the habit of using reusable bottles and thermoses while it’s more convenient and be better prepared for when it’s less convenient.
3. Turn off the screens and head outdoors.
As long as you keep a safe distance from your neighbors and other walkers, it’s okay to take a stroll around the neighborhood. In fact, it can be good for your mental health to step outside and remember that even while we’re at a bit of a standstill, nature marches on.
This is also a great opportunity to get your garden in shape for the summer. For little kids, assign the task of pulling weeds. For older kids, teach them about pruning and let them prepare some of your overgrown bushes for new buds.
4. Learn about your local flora and fauna.
Nothing will strengthen your bond with nature like recognizing your local flora and fauna. Nebraska is home to tons of wildlife ranging from bison to piping plovers to southern flying squirrels.
While some of these critters may stick to the nature preserves, some of them might be in your backyard! Use online resources to identify any trees, wildflowers, or birds that pass through your neighborhood.
5. Brainstorm ways to conserve water.
Between brushing our teeth for two minutes twice a day to washing our hands for 20 seconds at a time, we need water for a lot of our daily activities. Talk to your kids about ways you can use less water throughout the day. For example, you can turn off the tap while you’re brushing or lathering up your hands with soap and only run the water to wet and rinse.
6. Make some DIY birdfeeders.
Since it’s a bit difficult to get to the store to buy a new birdfeeder right now, why not use materials you can find in your pantry and your backyard?
Our favorite DIY birdfeeder takes a few spoonfuls of peanut butter, some scoops of birdseed, yarn, and either an empty toilet paper roll, paper towel roll, or even a pinecone! Lather up your cardboard roll or pinecone with peanut butter and coat it in birdseed. Then, feed some yarn through the cardboard roll or tie it around the top of the pinecone and hang it from a tree branch or your fence!
7. Make an earth-friendly cookbook.
Did you know that cutting down on your meat and dairy consumption is one of the best ways to make a positive impact on the environment? Transitioning your family to a strict, vegetarian diet may not be an option right now; however, you can come up with recipes to use a few times a week that limit your meat and dairy intake.
Sit down with your kids and make a list of the vegetables, grains, and beans they enjoy. Together, peruse recipe websites for eco-friendly recipes everyone will enjoy.
Ask your kiddos to write down the recipes on the back of old homework, junk mail, and other recycled paper. Punch three holes down the left side of each recipe and use garbage-bound scraps of string or even twisty-ties to bind the pages of your earth-friendly cookbook together. That way, the recipes will make the planet happy and so will the cookbook itself!
8. Use eco-friendly toothbrushes.
For the sake of our oral health, we’re supposed to replace our toothbrushes no less than every three months. By switching to an eco-friendly toothbrush, you can reduce the amount of plastic and rubber your family throws away every year!
Most earth-happy toothbrushes use bamboo or recycled plastics for the handle. They look fun, they’re safe to use, and your kids will be excited to brush their teeth knowing they’re helping the environment at the same time!
Get creative this Earth Day!
Things may be a bit different this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun and learn about the environment this Earth Day! In fact, this is a great time to practice mindful consumption, learn more about our local ecosystems, and commit to a few eco-friendly changes!
Meanwhile, don’t forget to take good care of your teeth and gums. Remember, we’re still available for any emergency dental treatments you may need! If you have a dental emergency, visit our contact page to find our office phone number.