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6 Eco-Friendly Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

Everyone appreciates all the beautiful plants and animals in this world, but how can we celebrate Earth Day? Here are six eco-friendly and easy ways for you to give back to the planet. The plants and animals deserve it!

1. Clean Up Your Community

One of the most popular and easiest methods to show appreciation on Earth Day is to clean up your community. Not only are you giving back to the planet by paying attention to the ecosystem, but you are helping to build love and support in your community.

  • Join cleanup groups at parks, lakes, and other recreational areas.
  • Plant a tree.
  • Go out with your kids and pick up trash and recyclables for five minutes every day.
  • On Earth Day, go out and plant some flowers or vegetables in your garden, or invite your kids to do some landscaping work around your home.
  • Offer to help your neighbors, friends, and family with their own lawn work.

2. Recycle

When people talk about going green, recycling is one of the top methods. When talking about celebrating Earth Day, it can’t be skipped. Thankfully, it doesn’t take a complete overhaul of your life to begin recycling. Since almost everything can be recycled, you just need to give it a single thought before it becomes a habit.

  • In public, purposely search out recycle bins for your recyclable waste.
  • At home, create recycle bins for everything. Water bottles, styrofoam, every type of metal, oil, etc.
  • When your bins are full, haul them off to recycling plants or repurpose them (Breaking the Grid, p. 25).
  • Teach kids what can be recycled by making a game out of it. Have them shoot the recyclables into the bins from a certain mark, like in basketball. Tell them that they’ll earn points for every shot they make, and once they have so many points, they’ll earn a reward.
  • Start a compost bin or pile to recycle your uneaten or rotten food.

3. Repurpose

Once you begin recycling, one of the biggest snags people run into is what to do with it. Of course, you can haul your recyclables off to recycling plants, but sometimes they’re hard to find. And why waste good material when you can reuse them? You can make some helpful products from recycled materials, or you can use recyclables in an art project or game to celebrate Earth Day.

  • Make decorative glass pieces from your used glass bottles. Cut and break the recycled bottles into pieces and tumble them in a rock tumbler or concrete mixer. These pieces can be used for mosaics, stained glass windows, pen jars, and more (Breaking the Grid, p. 26).
  • Turn your leftover plastic bags into plastic bag rope (Breaking the Grid, p. 49)
  • Use old motor oil to finish your outside deck and preserve the wood.
  • Take the small, unusable pieces of wax from used candles and combine them together to make homemade candles.
  • Ask your kids to think of ways recycled items can be used. It can be anything from art projects to toys to helpful tools to help around the house. Your kids will learn to love the environment, to not be wasteful, and to test the limits of invention.

4. Conserve

One of the best ways to help our planet is to decrease our waste in general. Decreasing how much trash we use is easy, especially when we can use a metal water bottle instead of a plastic one. However, resources like water, gas, and electricity are a bit harder to control. To celebrate Earth Day, you can make a game or a competition out of conserving these items. Whoever does more of the following conservation tips gets a reward!

  • Don’t let water run down the drain for no reason. Use water only when you have to, and turn the faucet off when you’re not using it. (You can also use low flow showerheads.)
  • Keep your fridge closed unless you’re actually getting something out of it. Don’t just stare endlessly into the fridge hoping that the food you want will suddenly appear. And try to minimize how many times you have to open the fridge when cooking.
  • Turn off lights every time you leave the room, and if you’re brave (and if it’s not dangerous or impossible), don’t even turn the light on at all!
  • Find activities that don’t require electricity. No more TVs, phones, computers, or tablets!

More conservation ideas:

  • Replace your toilet with low-flow models or, for a DIY option, place plastic bottles filled with water or sand in your tank to reduce water usage.
  • Try out a compost toilet to skip using water completely. You can build one with Dan Martin’s instructions on page 185 of Breaking the Grid.
  • Build a homemade rainwater catchment system (Breaking the Grid, p. 169)
  • Switch out your light bulbs for LEDs whenever possible.
  • Don’t store hot food in your fridge because it will make your fridge work harder.
  • Flip the circuit breaker for your water heater when it’s not in use.
  • Keep your water heater unit maintained, or you’ll be paying for more electricity to heat water through hard water deposits.
  • Buy a charger for standard batteries. Although they are considered “non-rechargeable,” you can recharge them a couple dozen times.

5. Appreciate Animals and Endangered Species

Animals are a large part of our ecosystem, often affecting plant growth and water reservoirs. They keep everything balanced. Even more than that, there are plenty of animals that are becoming endangered, partly because of us. If you want to protect the planet and the environment, you should start with the animals.

  • Go to the zoo. You can even create a small scavenger hunt with your child to help them learn about the different animals.
  • For a fun, educational activity, learn about the different endangered animals and draw them with your children.
  • Read books like She Leads, He Leads, and They Lead with your kids to learn traits about the amazing wild animals throughout the world.
  • Read the book Hear Them Roar with your kids to learn about the endangered species and what we are doing to help them. The added sound board will allow you to listen to and preserve the sounds of endangered animals for many generations.
  • Donate time, money, or products to wildlife sanctuaries, animal rescues, local shelters, and nonprofit organizations.

6. Go Outside

Probably one of the simplest and most important ways to celebrate Earth Day is just to go outside. How can we appreciate the planet we live on and the nature that surrounds us if we don’t even look at it? There are so many things that you can do outside to appreciate our planet—you just have to step out the door.

  • Move reading time or play time outside for the day.
  • Take your family out for a picnic in a park or some other beautiful place where you can appreciate nature.
  • Schedule regular breaks throughout the day where you take a quick walk outside.
  • Go for a hike with your family.
  • Ask your kids to go outside every day, even if it’s just for ten minutes.

For more ways to recycle and repurpose, check out our articles “10 Classic Recycled & Reusable Versions of Backyard Games” and “8 Recycled Eco-Friendly Products.”

Books Supporting Our Planet

Shaelyn Topolovec earned a BA in editing and publishing from BYU, worked on several online publications, and joined the Familius family. Shae is currently an editor and copywriter who lives in California’s Central Valley.

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