Captain Planet… Wonder World Warrior… Earth Avenger...just a few of the nicknames your kids may use for you after you pull off the most epic Earth Day ever (with a little help from us of course).
These ideas not only do good for Mother Earth, but they’re also a really fun way to get kids thinking about their environmental contributions. We’ve listed enough ideas to fill a week leading up to Earth Day, or any week really. Pick a few or do them all, either way, it’s a win-win for everyone, our planet included.
It’s no secret, our fuzzy little yellow and black friends could use our help. Bees are critical to agricultural survival. These prolific pollinators are responsible for pollinating one-third of our crops globally, and unfortunately, they’re not always treated with the respect they deserve. So this Earth Day why not invite them to stay awhile and have a rest in your own upcycled Bee Hotel? These Bee hotels are not meant to be a hive of activity, so to speak, but rather a safe haven for solitary pollinators. That is to say bees without a hive to call their own. While these tenants aren’t honey producers they are valuable members of any garden society and incredible pollen movers in their own right. One more bonus, because they are not defending their hive they are far less likely to become aggressive. This video shows an easy DIY kids and parents alike can take on.
*Bonus tip - Want to make your new Bee Boutique hotel even more inviting? Visit Cheerios Bring Back The Bees website to score free pollinator-attracting seeds for your garden.
Fun fact: everyone has a favourite memory of a power outage when they were a kid. Sitting in the dark, making forts, playing board games or cards by candlelight. Why not recreate those kinds of memories on purpose, with a purpose? So much of our life revolves around being plugged in and using copious amounts of electricity. Those watts can really add up and add to our pollution levels in a serious way. Maybe mom was right, maybe not every light in the house needs to be on, especially when the sun is still out. Try having a lights-out hour, afternoon, or even full day to see for yourself that not every bright idea needs a lightbulb.
Green On The Go
Who hasn’t heard an older relative tell a tale of how they walked 20km to school, uphill both ways, in 3 feet of snow? As far-fetched as it may sound, the walking part at least, is not a bad idea. As far as an everyday commute goes, forgoing getting behind the wheel entirely may be out of the question, but what about finding ways to get around sans gas on a more regular basis? Could your kids walk to school? Could you bike to the coffee shop? What about really running to run errands? And if the distance you need to travel does require a car, could you carpool? Next time you are getting ready to go, consider going green.
If 2020 taught us something it was that more can be done virtually than we had ever realized. You may have already noticed how much less paper you’ve used this year. Why not take it a step further, even for a day, and challenge your kids to do the same, and go paperless? Opt to have a receipt emailed to you instead of printed, send emails instead of printing documents, use the note section on your cell phone to make a list instead of jotting them down on sticky pads. You may be surprised how much paper your normal day-to-day life consumes.
*Bonus tip - Try making your own paper. This DIY tutorial shows how you can use a few household items to create your own recycled paper.
Let It Grow
To be fair, green thumb season and Earth Day in Alberta don’t often align. That doesn’t mean you can’t start pre-prepping for a bountiful growing season a little early. Whether flowers are your fancy, vegetables of every variety peak your interest, or even herbs to up your culinary pursuits, getting your hands in the dirt can have many benefits, both for our planet and ourselves. Start with something simple on a windowsill and let your imagination run wild for what to try next to grow along with your new budding buddy.
Here is an eco-project that is twice as nice, a bird feeder made from recycled materials. Bringing birds into your backyard with an upcycled bird feeder can be great enjoyment for your kids (you could even make up a game that taps into cognitive learning ie counting, colour sorting, etc), and it helps out our neighbourhood native feeders by providing them with some extra nutrients and calories. Here are a plethora of easy DIY options, using materials you probably have at home already.
*Bonus tip - You may even find having more birds frequenting your property can help keep away unwanted pests like wasps, and mosquitos.
How Green Can You Get
This is the big one - one for all the blue and green marbles - how green can you go? Pick a day to be as green as you can; cut your carbon footprint down by walking or biking, pack your lunch in reusable or compostable containers, turn the lights out and open the blinds, just opt for as many eco-friendly options as you can. You can even challenge the rest of your family to see who can go the greenest for some fun friendly family competition.
Earth Day is a great reminder and jumping-off point to talk about environmentalism with your kids, or even to learn more yourself. Being good to Mother Earth is something we can all strive to do a little more of every day. Still looking for more ideas? Check out last year’s Earth Day post here.