8 Ways for Families to Celebrate Earth Day (and the environment every day)

  • The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) has launched the Be Out ThereTM Campaign to encourage families to spend time together outdoors. The NWF suggests these “green” activities to get a jump on spring as we mark the anniversary of Earth Day on April 22:

    Pledge to spend time outside with the kids in your life.
    A daily dose of the outdoors will improve your family’s overall well-being and inspire a lifelong appreciation of wildlife and nature. There are dozens of fun ways to observe and explore the world outside your door. Plan a nature scavenger hunt. Build a fort in the backyard. Keep a nature journal together. Hike a nearby park trail. Camp out under the stars.

    Cultivate your child’s green thumb. Whether in a small plot in the backyard, a window box, or a container garden, growing something can be exciting and rewarding for your child. Plan your garden together, considering soil, sun, and water requirements. Fast-germinating seeds or transplants are ideal in your child’s garden. Include vegetables your child likes or would like to try. For a flower garden, look for native perennials. Your plants will be more hardy and will attract backyard birds. Butterfly gardens are colorful and attract beautiful “visitors” as well. Provide kid-sized tools and help your child use them properly.

    Play good old-fashioned games outside.
    As the days get longer, you and your child will have more daylight for outside play. When was the last time you played hide and seek, duck-duck-goose, or capture the flag? See what childhood games—and memories— you can pull out to share with your child this spring!

    Watch for feathered friends in your yard, and furry friends and crawly critters, too. Then share your sightings and stories online during the quarterly Wildlife Watch. (Participants must be 13 or older to sign up.)

    Participate in ‘green’ celebrations and environmental activities.
    Check out the Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center (GEHC), a science and cultural education center with interactive museum exhibits, multi-purpose trails, interactive field trips, and a university-level teaching science laboratory. GEHC’s Earth Day celebration is held in April. And don’t miss Green Living series workshops and presentations throughout the year. Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful (GC&B) also has activities and events planned, including a Litter Cleanup Day in April.

    Conserve energy at home.
    Turn off lights when you’re not using them, air dry your clothes, and use small appliances over larger ones. Learn more about conservation and recycling from GC&B.

    Compost your kitchen scraps.
    It reduces waste and makes “liquid gold” nourishment for your garden or plants. Check out composting tips from GC&B.

    Walk, ride your bike, carpool, or take the bus to school or work.
    Consider alternative transportation to get where you need to go with help from Georgia’s Clean Air Campaign.