Many families do things to help Planet Earth on a daily basis. Recycling is now often offered by waste management services and has become a normal part of our children's lives. We and our kids know the importance of taking care of the environment more than previous generations. This Earth Day, take it one step further and intentionally celebrate the earth with your family. Here are some ideas:

  1. Visit a recycling center

    Check local listings for a recycling center near you. Many have visiting hours when kids can learn what happens to all those cans, bottles and papers after they go in the recycle bin. This helps them understand why we recycle and what recycled goods are used for.

  2. Visit a water treatment plant

    Another fun family field trip is a visit to the local water treatment plant. Workers there teach how our water is treated and why. Kids gain a better understanding of the importance of taking care of our water resources and how to protect them.

  3. Create a compost

    A great way to recycle food waste is to create a compost. This can be on a small or large scale, and is an affordable project your family can do together. A simple compost bin can be made out of a plastic tub (be sure to drill several holes on the top and bottom for draining). Fill the container with leaves, grass, weeds, fruit or vegetable scraps, eggshells and coffee grounds. Turn the bin, shake it or stir the contents often to begin the compost process. Use the contents to fertilize your planters or garden. Kids will learn how food decomposes, as well as the benefits of gardening.

  4. Plant a tree

    A common way to celebrate Earth Day is to plant a tree. You could do this in your own backyard or donate one to a local park or common area. Also consider planting a flower garden or working in the yard. Try volunteering to help someone who isn't physically able to clean up his or her own backyard by raking leaves or taking care of outdoor chores.

  5. Spend time in the great outdoors

    What better way to celebrate Earth Day than to spend time outside and enjoy nature? Play outside, go on a nature hike, visit a zoo, go to the park or enjoy a walk while taking time to stop and observe the beauty of the world around you. Have the kids collect interesting items from your nature walk and use them to create art when you return home.

  6. Adopt a street

    Celebrate Earth Day and clean up the environment by picking up trash and debris in your neighborhood. Organize a group to take on a large area, such as a busy city street or your favorite park. We can all do our part to keep our communities beautiful.

As you celebrate Earth Day, remember that a healthy environment is vital to all of us and our continued prosperity. It is everyone's responsibility to keep it clean and maintain its beauty for generations to come.

Celebrate Earth Day Every Day

Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd, but your family can celebrate the Earth every day by changing these simple behaviors.

  • Turn off lights when you leave the house

  • Recycle

  • Reuse or re-purpose items

  • Plant a garden

  • Pick up trash on your daily walk

  • Wash only full loads of laundry or dishes

  • Walk or carpool to your destination

  • Switch to cloth - use cloth napkins, diapers

  • Reduce paper products (no more paper plates)

  • Hang clothes to dry rather than using the dryer


Sarah Lyons is a proud mother of six kids, including triplets, who writes from her home in suburban Kansas City.