Earth Day is usually a time for families to get outside and behold the beauty of nature, but what if there’s a Shelter-in-Place order in effect? There are many ways to celebrate our planet and teach our children about conservation efforts from the comfort of home.
Here are a few of our favorite ideas:
Plant a Climate Victory Garden
Many families have already joined in on the trend of planting Climate Victory Gardens, promoted by Green America. Climate Victory Gardens are inspired by the Victory Gardens planted during WWI and WWII, but this time the enemy is climate change. Shifting garden practices towards principles of regenerative agriculture can be a meaningful part of reversing climate change and sequestering carbon out of the atmosphere and back into the soil.
Earth Day Family Read Alouds
Read about nature and animals, curled up together on the sofa with your little ones. Bay Area children’s book publisher, Blue Dot Kids Press has some gorgeous picture books to choose from. Blue Dot Kids Press is very environmentally friendly, using only vegetable-based printing inks and paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council®. They also contribute a percentage of sales to environmental causes.
Here are our top picks:
- Under My Tree, by Muriel Tallandier, illustrated by Mizuho Fujisawa (April 2020). This modern take on Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree celebrates the friendship between a curious child and her favorite tree.
- Ivy Bird, by Tania McCartney, illustrated by Jess Racklyeft (April 2020). Ivy spends her day with the birds—sipping nectar and splashing in the pond in this joyfully written celebration of birds and imaginative play.
- Leafy Critters, by Yvonne Lacet (May 2020). An exuberant call to go outside, Leafy Critters inspires a deep appreciation for nature, art, and animals through novel art-and-craft projects for kids of all ages.
National Geographic Kids Earth Day Neighborhood Safari
National Geographic recently launched [email protected], a hub filled with enriching learning resources for kids that will keep them engaged and empowered to make the world a better place.
National Geographic is also encouraging families to bring the wonders of the wild world to their neighborhood with an Earth Day Neighborhood Safari where families can design their own “safari stop” and can encourage their friends and neighbors to do the same. Check out #NatGeoEarthDayAtHome and post your own shots with this hashtag.
Discover Nature At Home
Houseplants and flower beds are part of nature’s beauty too! In fact, tending to plants is one of the best ways for children to develop an appreciation for the natural world. No green thumb? If you have a yard, simply getting outside and exploring the vegetation is a great idea. Or treat it as a family chore: clean up the yard together. Mow the lawn, pull the weeds, and rinse the patio furniture. Then enjoy a family meal together outside!
Do your part to reduce your carbon footprint by learning to make your own bread. Homemade bread is actually very easy and only requires four ingredients (flour, active yeast, salt, and lukewarm water) but many of us are in the habit of grabbing a store-bought loaf without considering the idea of baking our own.
Enjoy an Environmentally-Friendly Adult Beverage
This one is for mom and dad: enjoy some California wine! April is Down to Earth Month, a time where wineries celebrate sustainability. Although the local wineries have canceled their tasting events this year due to the Shelter-in-Place order, many of California’s sustainable wineries are offering special discounts on wine and shipping fees. Visit the Down to Earth Month page on Discover California Wines to see the latest offers.
Happy Earth Day from All of Us at San Francisco Bay Area Moms!