The planet Earth seen from space half-covered in sun light against a black background

It’s easy to let busyness of daily life push thoughts of being eco-friendly to the back burner. But caring for our planet might be easier than you think. Start small by trying one activity a month or making a few small changes. If you’re seasoned, earth-forward enthusiasts, go “all in” and challenge yourself to try all the fun activities below.

WHY IT MATTERS

Raising earth-conscious kids has never been more important than it is today. The earth provides food, water, oxygen, clothing, shelter, medicine and more. Fostering a love for our planet helps people live longer, healthier lives—and making a difference doesn’t have to be overwhelming. This year, take the opportunity to teach kids how to appreciate and care for our planet on Earth Day and every other day. 

1. Plant Something

It doesn’t matter if it’s a tree, a flower or a seed. Trees help replenish oxygen and keep the planet cool, flowers promote a healthy ecosystem and support bees and butterflies, and growing food has a host of benefits, including a reduction in food transportation. Plus, it’s a lot of fun to plant and grow something as a family.

2. Attend a Local Farmers Market

Supporting local farms and growers is a great way to keep the earth healthy. The farmers that offer produce and flowers at farmer’s markets often minimize waste compared to conventional grocery stores. Many of them also use fewer chemicals in their growing practices, which helps keep the earth’s soil and water clean. Attending farmers markets is also a fun way to get the family out and about.

3. Visit a National Park

Did you know the U.S. has 62 national parks and almost all have virtual tours? Whether you plan a trip to explore in person or spend time looking at them online, helping kids fall in love with these awe-inspiring treasures grows their appreciation for our planet and all it has to offer.

4. Recycle

Teach kids to look for recycling symbols on packages and recycle as much as possible. At the end of a week see how much your family recycles compared to how much your family throws away. Try to get your recycling output to beat your trash output each week.

earth day flower art sm1921 earth day poster

5. Make a Recycled Craft

Use recycled items to create something beautiful or unique. Establish a theme or let everyone create whatever they want. Find inspiration with San Diego Family’s Earth Day projects at www.sandiegofamily.com/for-the-kids/crafts-for-kids.

6. Give It Away

Instead of tossing things you don’t want or need in the trash, have a household collection day of gently used items. Then, take the kids to a local donation center (so they can see the process) or give items to another family (if you don’t know anyone who needs your donations, try a Buy Nothing group on Facebook). Kids might like thinking of other children who would enjoy their toy donations.

7. Make a Birdfeeder

Find a pinecone, cover it with a layer of peanut butter and roll it in birdseed. Hang the feeder outdoors for birds to enjoy, making sure it’s in a safe spot from predators (such as a neighborhood cat).

8. Get Inspired

Watch the video of poet Amanda Gorman reciting her poem, “Earthwise.” Kids and adults will be inspired to treat our planet well.

9. Take 52

Commit to taking one hike, walk or bike ride each week for one year. Make a chart to keep track of your progress.

10. Just One Thing

Swap out one plastic (or disposable) item each month for a more sustainable alternative, such as reusable water bottles, travel mugs, reusable straws, shopping bags and sandwich bags.

11. Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace is a global movement to leave the planet in its most natural state—and, in the spirit of outdoor enthusiasts everywhere—to leave the world better than we found it when we’re out and about. Do a little research about Leave No Trace; then challenge the kids on your next outing to leave no trace that they were ever there.

12. Get Outside

The best way to help kids take care of the earth is to fall in love with it. Spending time outside, enjoying beautiful creatures, foliage, mountains, beaches and sunsets is a great way to breathe fresh air, get some and exercise, and learn to love the big beautiful planet we call home. 

When we are intentional about taking care of the planet, everyone wins.

Rebecca Hastings is a freelance writer.


 

Free Summer Concerts 2024

Free Summer Concerts 2024

San Diego’s Free Summer Concerts 2024 Start the summer on a high note! Here are outdoor gigs and free summer concerts happening throughout San Diego County in 2024.   CARLSBADTGIF Con . . .

Read more

Father's Day Events, Handmade Gifts, Ideas and More

Father's Day Events, Handmade Gifts, Ideas and More

   Wondering how to celebrate Father's Day this year? Find recipes, crafty handmade presents, and Dad-approved gift ideas to show the father in your life how much he is appreciated! For mo . . .

Read more

119 Dad-Approved Gifts

119 Dad-Approved Gifts

Every Dad is unique, so have the kids spend time thinking about what they can do, make or give him that will speak to his soul and make him feel special, whether it's Father’s Day, Christmas or an . . .

Read more

Happy Father’s Day! 10 Creative Ways to Celebrate Dad

Happy Father’s Day! 10 Creative Ways to Celebrate Dad

Every dad needs reminders of how much he is loved and valued. While you don’t want to forgo handmade cards and the kids’ sweet ideas for Father’s Day or a birthday, these creative ways to cele . . .

Read more

Celebrate AAPI Heritage Month with Dim Sum

Celebrate AAPI Heritage Month with Dim Sum

  With May being Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, families across the nation will be celebrating the rich cultural tapestry of the AAPI community. One way to participat . . .

Read more

Celebrate Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Celebrate Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Celebrate the unique culture and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) throughout the month of May and all year long! Our list of family-friendly AAPI Heritage Month events i . . .

Read more

Ideas to Celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month

Ideas to Celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month

Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month is a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. The term AAPI includes people with origins from dozens of countries from . . .

Read more

9 Ways to Celebrate Summer Solstice

9 Ways to Celebrate Summer Solstice

In San Diego, June 20 marks the longest day of the year and heralds the start of the beloved summer season: summer solstice. The summer solstice presents another opportunity for families to celebrat . . .

Read more

25 Affordable Date Night Ideas

25 Affordable Date Night Ideas

Has date night with your significant other taken a back seat to everything else in your life? If the expense and planning for dates with your partner have kept you from enjoying each other’s conve . . .

Read more

Fun Ways to Celebrate the Spring Season

Fun Ways to Celebrate the Spring Season

By the time the first day of spring rolls around (March 19), San Diegans are usually ready for a “change in weather.” Let’s face it, a low of 48 degrees is downright freezing in these parts. (Le . . .

Read more

Be Family Informed – Sign up for our Newsletters below!

Subscribe