Celebrating Earth Day with Your Kids
Small changes can make a big difference
It’s easy to take our world for granted. There are days when I just don’t feel like rinsing out the milk gallon and putting it in the recycle bin because it just takes too much effort. But this Wednesday is Earth Day so the kids and I are going to be aware of our surroundings and concentrate on keeping our Earth a good place to live. Here are some simple ways to celebrate:
*This week is officially TURN OFF THE TV Week, and my children are actually all gung-ho about it. Why turn off the TV? Well, it gives us a reason to GET OUT OF THE HOUSE! It forces the kids to find other earth-friendly activities like playing outside with friends, climbing trees and getting fresh air! Plus, no TV equals saving on electricity, another happy-planet reason to unplug this week!
While I have never been the type of mom to limit the kids’ TV time, I was actually a little surprised at their enthusiasm about this experiment. I’ll have to let you know what happens when they want to know who gets kicked off American Idol this week, but for now, the TV is off!
*Thank goodness for elementary school because the kids are doing another earth-friendly experiment this week along with no TV. For lunch they are encouraged to have “Green Lunch” day, and no, this does not mean I get to pack them broccoli and spinach for lunch. Instead, the children will bring lunch in only reusable items so we can cut down on waste. No tin foil, Ziplocs, plastic utensils or paper bags. Instead of recycling, they’ll be reusing! It’s a great habit to get into and will save thousands of pounds of garbage if we all do just a little bit!
*Turn off the TV Week doesn’t mean we can’t see a movie! Because there’s a fabulous documentary premiering on Wednesday in honor of our great earth, called, you guess it … EARTH! The documentary follows three animal families on a journey for one year – elephants, polar bears and whales. The video footage is amazing, and it’s enough to make you want to keep our planet clean and livable for all the earth’s inhabitants.
*Get Outside – this one is a no-brainer! What better way to celebrate our Earth than to be outside enjoying where we live. Take your children on a nature walk, and bask in what will surely be a sunny spring earthy day! Bring along a garbage bag to pick up any trash along the way. And if it happens to be raining on Earth Day, well, that’s part of the charm too! Explain to the younger kids why rain is important, let them jump in the puddles and relish in that earthwormy rain smell that signifies springtime blooms are coming!
*Water conservation! I’m so guilty of it. I catch myself brushing my teeth while the water is still running. But I’m getting better at turning it off, and mostly because it’s my kids who are reminding ME! Thousands of gallons of water can be saved each day if everyone focuses on not wasting the fresh clean water we take for granted.
*To round out the Earth Day celebration, make an Oreo Dirt Cake with your kids. You’ll need these ingredients:
1 to 1 1/4 lb. pkg. Oreo cookies
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
3 cups milk
1 (12 oz.) tub Cool Whip (can use chocolate)
2 (3 1/2 oz.) pkg. instant vanilla or chocolate pudding
1/2 tsp. vanilla
4 gummy worms and/or other critters
1. Chop cookies very fine in food processor. The white cream will disappear.
2. Mix butter, cream cheese, and sugar in bowl.
3. In a large bowl mix milk, pudding and whipped topping together.
4. Combine pudding mixture and cream mixture together.
5. Layer in a dish or small glass, starting with cookies then cream mixture. Repeat layers.
6. Chill until ready to serve.
7. Garnish with gummy worms or critters and use a kid shovel to serve your dirt!
These simple and fun things to do during Earth Week are just small reminders on how we can conserve and respect the planet we live on. And if you can incorporate some of these easy steps into your everyday life (I for one am diligent about recycling now!), we can definitely teach our kids the importance of keeping our Earth friendly and livable for the next generation!