Hurray, Earth Day

Dare we say, spring has sprung?  I don’t know about you, but I didn’t think I was going to make it through this winter.  With spring comes Earth Day, a much anticipated hallmark of the season.  Implemented in 1970, Earth Day is celebrated worldwide on April 22.  A campaign spearheaded by Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1962 raised awareness of the damage being done to our planet and  resulted in the first Earth Day.  It was the beginning of the modern environmental movement and united people who were concerned about pollution and protecting the environment through rallies nationwide.  Earth Day was also the impetus for the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the decade itself saw the passage of vital legislation such as the Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act.  This is a great time of the year to initiate some go green activities with the kids. Here’s a few to get you started. 

These portable snack packs are great for lunches or on the go.  Start with a clean, dry half-gallon milk or juice carton.  Measure, mark and cut the carton so three sides are 4 inches tall and one side is 7 inches. Trim the tall side into a curve by rounding off the corners. Pinch the front and back panels together while tucking in the sides of the carton, as shown. Fold the curved flap over the front of the carton. Personalize the container with patterned duct tape and add an adhesive Velcro closure to where the flap meets the front panel. Voila! It’s especially nice for items that might otherwise get squashed in a baggie. 

This one from Tipnut has a couple quick and easy ways to make those soft gel ice packs that can be used for boo boos as well as keeping foods cool in lunch bags or at picnics.  Pour 1 cup rubbing alcohol and 2 cups water into a Ziplock quart size freezer bag.  Remove air and seal.  Place bag, seal side down into second bag, remove air and seal that bag. Place in freezer to use and reuse as needed.  If they freeze solid, allow to melt and add some more alcohol to the mix. 

And one last tip for conserving water when your kids are in the shower.  Buy a timer and set it on the counter, out of reach.  I recently picked up a digital timer at IKEA and my youngest, who is 11, considers it a personal challenge to finish before the timer goes off. I wish I would’ve thought of it sooner!  For younger kids add this cute whale template from FamilyFun magazine.  

And don’t forget Arbor Day, first observed in Nebraska in 1872 to note the role of trees in our lives and their signifigance in environmental stewardship. Today National Arbor is celebrated on the last Friday in April.  Earth Fest 2015 will take place on Saturday April 19th at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds and is the longest running Earth Day celebration in the nation, since 1990.  Get more information here about local Earth Day events.

 

Some reading to get the family inspired –

[Cover]

Kylie Jean, Green Queen  JF Peschke, Mary

Katie Saves the Earth  JE Manushkin, Fran

Earth Day, Birthday  JP Wright, Maureen

Fancy Nancy Every Day is Earth Day  JE O’Connor, Jane

 

For Teens –

 

Breathe  YA, Crossan, Sara

Not a Drop to Drink  YA, McGinnis, Mindy

A World Without Fish  YA 333.956137 K96W      Kurlansky, Mark