This is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, which is celebrated on April 22.
Although Earth Day celebrations are obviously not happening in person and some programs – like the Great Global Clean-Up – have been postponed, there are plenty of ways to help lead your kids to awareness about natural resources and to stoke environmental activism now and every day.
Be sure to visit the Earth Day Network at earthday.org to learn more and check out their digital resources for celebrating Earth Day at home. If you share on social media, use #EarthDay2020.
Here are some opportunities to encourage environmental awareness.
Earth Day Live
- For three days, from April 22 through April 24, tune in to the Earth Day Live program featuring activists, performers, thought leaders, and artists coming together for an “empowering, inspiring, and communal three day livestream mobilization.”
Activities at home
There are lots of simple around-the-house ways to get kids thinking about the earth and about how they can do their part to protect it.
Here are a few simple ideas. Go to Earth Day digital resources for more.
- Plant seeds.
- Pea seeds in a pot will sprout in days!
- Go for a whole garden if you can, but any bit of cultivation of vegetables or flowers will make an impression, and be pretty or tasty!
- Measure how much trash and recycling you generate.
- Kids can measure by volume – the size of your trash bags and recycling items and by weight.
- Have kids make a chart to keep track over the following weeks.
- Predict how much you can reduce in a month or three months.
- Go outside! The more time kids spend in nature, the more they will feel connected to it and want to protect it. In addition to walking, hiking and biking, here are some other ideas to try:
- Make a chalk sundial by tracing a body every hour of the day, or trace shadows to make a tree on the ground, or simply draw pictures for your own outdoor gallery!
- Find a sit spot near a woods or field and go there daily to simply take in the sounds and sights or bring a journal and draw or make notes that can stand on their own or later turn into a story or poetry
- Gather items from nature for any number of arts and crafts projects – art mosaics, rubbings, still lifes, nature people and other creations
- Watch nature-themed documentaries like Planet Earth or National Geographic videos
- Get involved in earth-related programs
- Become an Earth’s Natural Force ranger
- Become a National Parks Junior Ranger online
- Celebrate National Parks Week April 18-26
More Livestream & Virtual Events
- We Don’t Have Time Climate Conference April 20-25
- Smithsonian Institution digital Earth Optimism summit #EarthOptimism 4/22
- eConference on Clean Energy & Clean Transportation: Key to Fight Climate Change from India Energy Storage Alliance 4/22
- Earth Day Zoom Panel Talk: Art and Our Environment: An Essential Dialog with Art Museum of the Americas of the Organization of American States 4/23
- ClimateMusic project online discussion with diverse experts exploring the intersections of music, climate change, and community action 4/22
- Warming Waters Earth Day Livestream Art Event 4/22
- EcoAction Arlington Virtual Community Earth Month Cleanup through 4/30
More Earth Day resources & activities
- Digital resources for #EarthDay2020 that can be used every day to start a conversation with your family about the environment! #EarthDay2020 earthday.org/
- Earth Day Across America! article in Parade Magazine with ideas for all 50 states
- Fairfax County Public Schools Get2Green Earth Week activities.
- Families in Nature nature-connected activities in English and Spanish
- Video of Virginia Youth Climate Activist Gundren Campbell
- Video of Earth Day Network Live segment aired on 4/17/20
- Global Teach-In
- Artists for the Earth
- Foodprints for the Future
- Citizen science Earth Challenge campaign
Connect with these & other national groups
- Alliance for Climate Education
- Children’s Environmental Health Network
- Climate Strike
- Environmental Defense Fund
- Moms Clean Air Force
- Sierra Club
- Zero Hour
Connect with these & other local groups
- Bethesda Green
- Chesapeake Climate Action Network
- DC Greens
- EcoAction Arlington
- Save the date: GW Earth Day Summit – September 15
Finally, happy 6th birthday to Mindful Healthy Life, which was launched on Earth Day 2014!
Jessica Claire Haney is the founder, publisher and editor of Mindful Healthy Life and the author of its Guide to Holistic Family Living in Metro DC. A mother of two, Jessica founded the Arlington/Alexandria Chapter of Holistic Moms Network and volunteers on school wellness issues. Follow on Facebook at MindfulHealthyLife, on @