THIS IS THE PERFECT OPPORTUNITY TO GET outside with your kids and celebrate the natural world around you. The first Earth Day took place on April 22, 1970. Since then, it has gone from strength to strength and now over 1 billion people worldwide participate in Earth Day activities. Spend some time around trees, and talk to your children about how these majestic beings provide us with the air we breathe. Why not visit your local river or coastline, and talk about the great gift of water. Make Earth Day a day of reverence and awareness, one that acts as a catalyst for bigger lifestyle changes, but also a family day your kids will remember and hopefully share with your grandchildren!
1 Plant a tree – make it a sacred act, giving thanks for the gift of clean air. Each take turns to add soil and water the new tree and offer it your blessing.
2 Walk or ride your bike – leave the car at home today and walk or ride your bike to school or work. Notice all the things you might usually drive by.
3 Have a meat-free meal. Give the Earth a break and go vegetarian for the day…week…month…year.
4 Turn off your power for a day – experiment with a day of no power. Switch off phones, televisions, computers, and lights and enjoy some candlelight and a fire. If it’s not wet outside, you could cook over a campfire.
5 Get outside – spend some time in the natural world: go swimming in a river, get muddy in the park, hug a tree in the woods, run along a beach, or simply lie down on the Earth.
6 Minimise your water usage – experiment with filling some large saucepans and jugs for your day’s water usage and stick to it! Have three separate vessels for cooking, drinking, and washing/brushing teeth. Flush the toilet only if you have to.
7 Build a compost bin – the perfect way to create a rich fertile soil for your garden. Find out more at gardenorganic.org.uk/composting
8 Construct a wildlife hotel - these are easy to build in a secluded area of your garden and will attract hedgehogs, frogs, toads and insects. Find out more at rspb.org.uk.
9 Feed the birds – Find out more at rspb.org.uk
10 Plant a wildflower bed – the human species would not survive without pollinating insects and birds, so give thanks to them by providing a wildflower area in your garden.
THREE BOOKS TO READ
One World Michael Foreman (Anderson Press) Stunning watercolours illustrate this magnificent book about the threat of pollution to our environment, particularly the seashore.
Ten Things I Can Do To Help My World Melanie Walsh (Walker) A beautifully simple book for small children where transforming pages reveal ten things that everyone can do to conserve energy.
The Barefoot Book of Earth Tales Dawn Casey (Barefoot Books) The seven folk tales in this book are each followed by a hands-on activity that promotes green living and reinforces the eco-messages.