Wondering more about Earth Day and how you can help celebrate through the week? Welcome guest blogger Andee with her insight and expertise on Mother Earth...
On the 32nd anniversary of the first Earth Day, when, on April 22, 1970, an estimated 20 million Americans came together for a cleaner environment, it is important that we continue spreading the "green" word and start teaching our kids early about the importance of taking care of our planet, for now and for future generations. Though recycling in some aspect as been around forever, back in the 1970s, most people didn't know that gas-guzzling sedans were polluting our environment; that it was better to recycle paper, plastic, cans, glass, and more, to reduce toxins in our landfills; that it was crucial to reduce our waste; or how to live sustainably. The inaugural celebration in 1970 led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Act. Now, thanks to the groundwork laid over three decades ago, we are much more informed about our precious Earth and things we can do to make it better and cleaner. The three R's of waste-minimization changed the way we live today: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. The three R's are a great way to talk to our kids, starting as babies, about the importance of helping our environment.
The Three R's:Reduce the amount of the Earth's resources that we use.
Reuse Don't just bin it, could someone else make use of it?
Recycle Can the materials be made into something new?
There are many activities we can do with our kids not just on Earth Day, but every day. The Huffington Post gives their top 10 Earth Day Activities for Kids:1) Take a Hike -- Take your kids on a scenic walk to witness nature's beauty and get some exercise.2) Make Earth-Friendly Treats and Picnic -- Put together a lunch made from natural and/or organic ingredients -- using reusable bags, plates, containers, etc. -- and go to your local park or beach for a picnic.3) Read an Earth Day Book -- Get the message across in a way the little ones will understand and appreciate.4) Plant Something -- Your kids will love getting their hands dirty planting fruits, vegetables, herbs, or flowers, as they learn they can contribute to Earth's beauty.5) Build a Bird Feeder -- Fun, messy, and educational!6) Go See Animals -- Take a trip to your local zoo, aquarium, or botanical gardens to experience the natural wonders in your community.7) Play the Recycling Game -- If you make recycling fun, it will be a popular daily ritual.8) Reuse Old Clothes -- This is a great activity to get creative, using scissors, paint, beads, or whatever else your budding designer comes up with!9) Play in the Dark -- Turn off the lights and your kids can use their imaginations for some spooky, power-saving fun.10) Make a Solar Oven -- I was lucky enough to try solar-baked chocolate chip cookies, made by elementary students, at Miami Country Day School's 20th anniversary celebration of the Abess Center for Environmental Studies. They were YUMMY!!
Earth Day turns into Earth Week at many schools, businesses, and homes worldwide. Here at the University of Miami, we have a week-long celebration with events, activities, speakers, film screenings, and more to relay the importance of helping our Earth. This year, the week culminated with the 6th annual Hug the Lake event, which brought over 700 UM students, faculty and staff together, holding hands around Lake Osceola, as a symbolic 'hug' to show their appreciation for and increase awareness about the environment. At the event, donations were collected to protect acreage of the Everglades from deforestation.The goal of UM's Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy is to educate the next generation of environmental leaders. Our undergraduate and graduate students are working more to reach out to K-12 students to educate and inform, since we know how important it is to start young. If a person begins their knowledge base of environmental and sustainability issues early, then the sky's the limit for them and the impact they could have on our world!
Thank you again to my WONDERful friend,