Celebrating Earth Day as a Family

April 3, 2012 by Amy Clark

In our family, we are always looking for opportunities to celebrate. A few years ago, we started incorporating Earth Day into our families list of many celebrations. Celebrating this holiday gives us the opportunity to teach our children about the importance of caring for the Earth. To us, it is more than wearing an Earth Day t-shirt. It is a concious decision to make great choices for our family. It is in the little things that we do every day, like making the switch to cloth items and making green cleaners for our family, to the bigger things like choosing the right appliances for our home and making sustainable choices for our planet.
I wanted to share with you some fun ways that you can celebrate Earth Day, on April 22nd, and do something fun with your family that embraces this wonderful holiday.

Spend the Day Embracing Nature– I can fully admit that we are not much of an outdoor family. That being said, when it comes to celebrating Earth Day, there is no better way to spend it than being out in nature and being thankful for all that the planet can offer you.

Spend the day at the local park and blaze some trails together. Get lost and then find your way back again. Point out things in nature and breathe in the fresh air. Make this family outing a part of your Earth Day traditions and I promise that it will be a day that your family will never forget.

Cook an Earth Day Meal Together– Head to the local Farmer’s Market and have your kids pick out a new fruit or vegetable to try. Purchase local foods and choose ingredients that have a minimal impact on the environment. Pair your meal with a great documentary that teaches kids about where their food comes from. Our kids absolutely loved, “What’s On Your Plate,” which offers information about food told by two eleven year-old girls that are learning about how our food is made and making great choices for the Earth and their bodies (available on instant stream on Netflix). Have a great family discussion after the show.

Plant a Garden– Depending on your growing season, planting a garden together is a great family activity and is a great way to use the plot of Earth you have right in your very own backyard. Our family loves to create a small garden together. If you are just venturing into creating a garden for yourself, start simply with plants that are hearty and easy to grow. We love to load our garden up with herbs and tomatoes and have had great success with these. Have your kids help you with the planting and maintaining your family garden. Include them in the process of selecting the plants and let each child pick one item that they would like to grow.

Talk About the Choices You Make– I know for us, many of the routines that we do in our home most likely go unnoticed in our family. You may be using cloth grocery bags, but have you ever explained why you don’t use plastic. You may choose appliances with energy-efficient features, but do you explain what this means and how it helps the Earth and saves you money? Part of getting our children to make good choices is making them a part of the dialog.

Amy Clark

Amy Allen Clark has been the driving force behind MomAdvice since 2004. In addition to running a successful community for women and running after her two kids, she has appeared on The Early Show, and in Parents magazine, Redbook, Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food, MSN Money and The New York Times.