Teaching children to be good stewards to the Earth is important because this is the only Earth we have. It teaches us to respect and value what our planet offers. This is why each year, our family tries to come up with new family-friendly Earth Day ideas.
Though every day is Earth Day, and we make treading lighter on the planet part of our lifestyle, on April 22nd, many people are inspired and motivated to take action. Whether it’s planting trees or being out in nature, doing roadside or park garbage clean-up, there are many ways to get involved.
Family-Friendly Earth Day Ideas
We have a few hundred acres of hardwood forest and silviculture on our farm.
Silviculture is the practice of controlling the establishment, growth, composition, health, and quality of forests to meet diverse needs and values.
It’s so important for us to maintain the health of our forests and we teach Little One that sometimes we need to remove diseased trees and sometimes we use selected trees for firewood or other purposes. This said, it is important to plant more trees. Little One has helped us plant trees in the past and I’m hoping tree planting will be one of our family traditions.
You can purchase little saplings and plant one in your yard. The kids will love taking part in this and in the years to come, when they are grown up and look at that tree, they’ll remember that Earth Day when they planted a tree with the family.
Start your seeds indoors to plant a garden when the weather is warmer
Starting seeds indoors can be one of the most fun, family-friendly Earth Day ideas. Kids (and adults like me!) love getting hands dirty. There’s satisfaction in planting seeds and watching them grow over days and weeks. When the weather is warm enough and there’s no threat of frost, planting the seedlings in your garden or raised bed is another activity the family can all enjoy. When harvest time comes around, everyone in the family will be excited that they grew the family’s vegetables themselves.
Road-side or Park Clean-Up
Some communities organize a road-size or park clean-up, where members of the community gather and pick up garbage together. If you can’t find a clean-up event, you can always organize an informal one with friends and family. What a great way to do our part for Mother Earth.
Little One and I sometimes walk over from our farm to my mother-in-law’s house. I sometimes carry a garbage bag and gloves because Little One likes to clean up the road-side. It’s amazing how much garbage ends up on the side of the road! I have no idea how beer cans, bottles, coffee cups and other things end up on the road-side!
Just like road-side and park clean-up, waterway clean-up sometimes take place on Earth Day. If you can’t find one close to you, you can just pick up garbage by your nearest lake, river or beach.
Make it a family day and spend a few hours by the water and pick up debris, garbage, and other things that can be a hazard for wildlife. If you’re at a public beach, picking garbage shouldn’t be an issue. Sometimes you have to be careful and respect the natural habitat. For example, if you have a beach with protected land, you need to be careful as to not disturb the flora and fauna. Certain waterways may not be accessible to the public, so entering/walking around there may not be the best idea.
Attending Earth Day Events
Most communities have Earth Day events. This is a great teaching opportunity! There’s always a lot to learn for both children and adults. For example, one local Manitoulin community is having a Green Living Expo on April 22-April 23.
Earth Day events are a great way to check out what local initiatives are taking place and how your family can participate. Another great thing about local Earth Day events is that you can see what local vendors have to offer and listen to guest speakers. This weekend in Kagawong (on Manitoulin Island), guest speakers throughout the day will be covering topics as diverse as raising heritage poultry, rainwater, forest management, Island stream restoration, and hybrid car ownership.
Going for a Family Hike
Taking a break from everything and going for a hike with the family is a great way to celebrate Earth Day! Pack a picnic and make it a day! Look for hiking trails in your vicinity. We’ve found several great hiking trails on Manitoulin Island. Learning about the diverse flora and fauna is exciting for my little one.
Make Art from Recycled Material
Repurposing material and creating works of art is a fun activity and one of our favourite family-friendly Earth Day ideas. One of our friends made this rocking horse for Little One for Christmas a few years ago. I thought that for Earth Day, creating something like this would be great team work and something the family can talk about years from now.
All material used for the rocking horse was repurposed. Everything was from salvaged material — from the barn beams from our friend’s old barn to the hardware, wool yarn for the mane and tail, and the leather saddle and stirrups (friend’s wife’s old purse).
Create Something from Re-claimed/Salvaged Material
Similar to creating artwork from salvaged material, creating something functional with used parts is also something your family may be interested in. We used old pallet boards to make outdoor tables (end tables to set beverages and snacks on) for friends as a present.
Hubby is known for saving every single nut, bolt, screw, washer…you name it, and he’ll save it. He is a practical man and often finds uses for everything he saves. Making a swing set this Earth Day out of material we have kicking around might just be the perfect project for our family. I think we’ll also be building new bunny cages for our rabbits on Earth Day.
Pack a litterless lunch for your family! Every day should be a waste-free lunch day, but on Earth Day, make a concentrated effort.
In Little One’s lunch today, she had homemade mac ‘n cheese, cucumber, sugar snap peas, broccoli, kiwi, clementine, cantaloupe, and water.
Our lunchbox essentials: Bentology Living, Funkins, Bento USA, and Lunchbox Love.
I was just reading up on some articles and posts, and am excited that TELUS has launched their 2015 Sustainability Report. You can take a look at it on their site!
What I find amazing about TELUS is their dedication to being environmentally-friendly.
Top 5 coolest, most environmentally-friendly facts you may not have known about TELUS:
- Fact: @TELUSGarden is 90% off the grid, saving 80% more energy than buildings of similar size!
- Put Mother Earth 1st! 70% of @TELUS works remotely, reducing CO2 emissions by 8K tonnes annually.
- You know what’s cool? The @TELUS community garden in #TO produces 600 lbs of organic produce annually.
- .@TELUS launched a program in 2015 that recycled 110k devices. Way to protect our planet!
- Here’s some #EarthDay2016 inspiration. Since 1998 @TELUS & @TreeCanada have planted nearly 530K trees in Canada!
Another exciting thing to share is that TELUS has just been named as one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for the fifth consecutive year! This is one of the many awards they receive annually that illustrates their commitment to the environment!
Yes, I may be a #TeamTELUS advocate, but this is not a sponsored post! I’m just sharing because I’m excited about the news! This is one more (out of a million) reasons I love TELUS. Not only is TELUS a great network provider, but TELUS is also exemplary leader when it comes to customer service, community, giving back, and committing to the environment.
Happy Earth Day, everyone!
Hope you get to enjoy some time outdoors and with your loved ones!
Victoria Ess says
These were great ideas! We didn’t do anything this year, but hope to get involved last year.
Debbie Bashford says
always participate in our local trash bash and am always sad that we collect so much
Debbie, isn’t it sad? 🙁 I feel the same way when we do garbage clean-up on our highway.