Earth Day: 6 Easy Tricks to Make A Big ImpactApril 22, 2014
By Nikki Cecala
Today is Earth Day, which is a wonderful day to celebrate, appreciate, and honor our planet. It’s a great opportunity to evaluate what your family is doing to help the Earth and learn some easy new tricks that everyone can practice.
- Stop the water. Encourage everyone in your home to turn off running water that isn’t being used such as: while brushing their teeth, letting the shower run for more than a minute before getting in, and while washing dishes as the water continuously runs. To make this more fun, see who can take the fastest shower (and still get clean) or wash the dishes quickly.
- Turn off the lights. This is so simple yet goes unnoticed most often. Turn off the lights, fans, television, computer, and any other electronics when not in use. For some family nights, opt for candles instead of turning on the lights. Turn it into a fun evening by telling stories, playing hide and seek, or just engaging in a good family discussion with no phones or television distractions.
- Give to charity or donate. Donate or recycle toys, clothes, and other household items you're no longer using. Get together with your community and arrange a swap event where kids bring their childhood toys and books to trade.
- Park the car. If you have a car, which most families do, consider walking, biking, or taking public transportation where possible. If you must drive, take shorter or fewer trips or opt for taking the train halfway if possible.
- Go herbal. Getting children involved with gardening is such a great way to introduce nature, different plants, and growth cycles. When planting something, make it more exciting by keeping a journal of the process of the growth.
- Bring your own bag. The U.S. uses over 100 billion plastic bags each year. Leave reusable shopping bags in the trunk of your car or by the front door of your home so you have them on hand when you shop.
As for recycling garbage at home, engage the family in a fun project by labeling different containers with markers and sticky notes and teach how to separate papers, plastics, metals, and glass. Encourage your child to be less wasteful with the materials he or she already uses, such as by drawing on both sides of the paper or by using the same cup throughout the day instead of a new one.