Gwen Leron: 50 Shades of Green


Five Family-Friendly Earth Day Activities

Ideas To Celebrate Earth Day As A Family

Earth Day, which takes place each year on April 22, was started back in 1970 by the Earth Day Network to "inform and energize populations so they will act to secure a healthy future for themselves and their children." It's a great initiative, but remember, even though we’re all different when it comes to the level of “eco-friendliness” we will commit to, there is always something more we can do every day, not just on Earth Day. Our kids learn by example, so what better way to teach them?

There are the obvious things we can do to recognize Earth Day—here are 25—but I've put together a few things that can be done as a family you may not have thought of.

Adopt a Tree

For just a few dollars, Adopt a Tree will, on your behalf, plant a tree to commemorate Earth Day or any other special occasion. You can have a tree planted in your family’s name, or have it dedicated to a loved one. You’ll receive a commemorative certificate and feel good that you did something to make a little part of Canada greener.

  Did you know that on average, one tree produces nearly 260 pounds of oxygen each year? Two mature trees can provide enough oxygen for a family of four. [source]

Participate in Meatless Monday

Going meatless for even just one day a week actually can make an impact. Earth Day falls on a Monday this year, so why not give it a try? There are so many excellent, family-friendly, meatless recipes around the web and even here on YMC. Decide on a few things you think your family will enjoy and try them out. For dessert, try my quick and easy go-to vegan recipe. It’s healthy, yummy, and contains a surprising secret ingredient!

Going meatless doesn’t have to happen just one day a week—the more often you do it, the more your health and the environment will benefit.

  Did you know that raising animals for food generates more greenhouse gases than all the cars and trucks in the world combined? [source]

Plan and Build a Garden

If you have some outdoor space, planting a garden is a great idea. Don’t be fooled into thinking you need a large area to garden. Even if you only have space for one or two plants, it’s better than nothing, right? Gardening is an activity kids love taking part in because they get to see a plant go from a tiny seed to being a part of their meal. Plan what you want to grow, buy your supplies, start your seedlings indoors, and have fun!

If you don’t have any space to plant a garden, try creating a pot garden.

  Did you know that hollowed out grapefruit halves placed around your garden can help deter garden pests? [source]

Start a Compost Pile

This one is on my to-do list for this summer. It can be as complex or as easy as you want it to be. The good news for those of you who cringe at the thought of worms—it doesn't have to involve buying worms! As with gardening, you don’t need a large space to do it and the rewards are that you contribute less to landfills and you get nutrient rich soil for your garden.

Get started by following this step-by-step. Keep a list of the things you can compost and the things you should never compost.

  Did you know that when done correctly, composting actually saves you money, because it reduces or eliminates the need to buy fertilizers? [source]

Attend An Eco-Event In Your City

The Earth Day Canada website is filled with tons of great ideas for how you can spend Earth Day. Check out their nationwide event listings to find an event taking place in your city.

  Did you know that Earth Day Canada is running a fun, family-challenge called Act for the Planet? Find out how you can participate here.

What will your family be doing to celebrate Earth Day?