Monday is Earth Day. Celebrated annually on April 22, Earth Day is an opportunity for taking on pressing issues of our time: climate change, plastic pollution, and air quality. Parentology’s thought: What are some fun family activities for Earth Day that can be used throughout the year?
Here are some ideas for making Earth Day an ongoing family project.
Know Your Carbon Footprint
A carbon footprint calculator estimates a household’s carbon profile. The purpose of calculating a carbon footprint is to increase awareness of your CO2 output and to serve as a teaching tool.
Web apps such as TerraPass and the Nature Conservancy’s Interactive Carbon Calculator show how many tons of CO2 your household emits per year. Calculations are based on your family’s transportation habits, annual air travel and home energy usage. Additionally, both TerraPass and The Nature Conservancy offer useful tips for reducing your carbon footprint.
The Three Rs for Saying No To Plastic
According to National Geographic, 18 billion pounds of plastic waste flow into the ocean every year. Forty percent of that plastic comes from packaging used just once, then discarded.
Plastic never goes away and can only be recycled into a lesser quality product. It’s a material of convenience that’s not eco-friendly and dangerous to wildlife.
A simple way to prevent plastic from reaching our oceans, lakes, rivers and streams: Reuse, Refuse and Recycle plastics.
Reduce the amount of plastic in your family’s day-to-day by:
- Swapping out your shower gel for a bar of soap.
- Reusing plastic bags, containers, and utensils.
- Eliminate single-use products substituting with materials such as metal, glass and bamboo.
- Refuse straws, or bring a reusable one, at restaurants.
- Bring your own travel mug to the coffee shop.
Walk Your Bag
That’s right: take a walk and bring a bag. A current trend in keeping our forests and waterways litter-free is #TrashTag, a challenge that encourages collecting litter while taking a walk.
The feel good factor: eliminating trash from the environment protects water resources, wildlife, aquatic/ marine life and watershed ecosystems.
Everyone contributes to our planet’s, therefore, it’s everyone’s job to pick it up.
Make Every Day Earth Day
Establish Earth Day activities as part of your daily routine. Use the JouleBug app to kick things off. JouleBug tracks your environmental stewardship efforts and promotes activities aimed at caring for the planet. Users can log accomplishments, engage with other users and compete in challenges.
A highlight of JouleBug is its community participation component that provides opportunities for cheering on peers, as well as motivating your family to help resolve Earth’s man-made problems.
By taking action today, your family can develop a habit of preserving our planet for future generations. So… Make Every Day Earth Day.