Youth Education Manager
The first earth day, celebrated on April 22nd, 1970, gave voice to a growing public concern about the state of the planet. Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson proposed this day be devoted to a national teach-in on the environment. His idea brought together people from all walks of life with a single unifying goal-helping the planet. The first earth day helped to mark an important turning point, inspiring the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and many initiatives along with it including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act. The spirit of Earth Day lives on and today as countries all over the world celebrate the environment. Planet earth is an amazing place, but it needs our help! Check out these planet saving ideas and help us to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.
1. Turn off the Lights
Much of the electricity we use to watch television, light, heat, and cool our homes, use the computer, and play videogames comes from fossil fuels like coal, oil or gas. Burning fossil fuels releases the heat trapping gas, carbon dioxide, which contributes to climate change. Try conserving electricity by only using what you need. Read a book instead, turn the lights off when you leave the room, or open a window rather than using the air conditioning.
2. Plant a Tree
Trees absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, the air we breathe. They also provide food and shelter for animals including birds, squirrels, insects, and so many more. Despite the invaluable services trees provide, each year billions are cut down. Do your part and care for the trees in your yard or plant a tree of your own. Did you know Tower Hill’s Worcester Tree Initiative plants hundreds of trees in and around the city of Worcester each year?
3. Save Water
It might seem like water is everywhere, but clean, drinkable water is a limited resource. Did you know less than one percent of the water on Earth can be used by humans? Much of the earth’s water is either too salty to drink or is frozen in glaciers. Challenge yourself to use less water by turning off the faucet when brushing your teeth or taking a shorter shower.
4. Clean Up Trash
Much of the waste we create is not disposed of properly, ending up on our streets, gutters, and even in your backyard! Much of this trash eventually makes its way to our waterways, polluting our oceans and harming wildlife. Work with your friends and family to organize a neighborhood cleanup! See trash in your backyard? Pick it up!
5. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
The average person throws away four pounds of trash each day! Much of this waste can be reused, recycled, reduced or composted. Before you throw something away, think about how it can recycled or repurposed. Try turning something you might normally put in the trash into an amazing craft! Save those food scraps and turn them into useful compost for your garden. You can also limit waste by reducing what you buy. Use a reusable water bottle to reduce your plastic use, use a towel instead of paper products, or check out books from your local library.
6. Read The Lorax
To get some inspiration gather your young planet protectors and join us for a reading of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax. Download our printable Earth and make a pledge to help the planet. Hang it in your window and share your pledge with us on social media by using #thbgEarthDay.
7. Make a craft
Continue the fun and make your own upcycled Earth Day garland by following the simple steps below.
You will need:
- Hole punch
- Makers, crayons or colored pencils
- Empty cereal box
Gather your supplies and use the templates to trace each shape onto your cereal box. Feeling creative? Try making your own garland designs!
Cut out each shape and use paint, crayons, markers, or colored pencils to decorate. Use a hole punch or pen to make two holes at the top of each shape.
String yarn or twine through each hole and thread all your of shapes together. Tie a loop on each end of the string to hang, or simply tape up on a wall, window or doorframe.
Happy Earth Day!