Because of Earth Week there is a lot of talk and activity in schools about what things kids can do to help our planet, but ideally practicing Earth Day every day, whether the change is big or small, helps protect their future more than they know. So what brought on a movement so significant that more than 180 countries have become involved? Inspired by Senator Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day originated in Philadelphia in 1970 after a call for a national environmental teach-in. However, having only one day dedicated to all the issues confronting our planet, many communities felt there was a need for an “Earth Week” and in some cases an “Earth Month” of organizing a series of activities to focus on environmental issues. It is the largest global civic event celebrated around the world by people of all backgrounds, faiths and nationalities. More than 180 countries are involved in earth day activities, people who are the driving force in bringing on change for the betterment of the environment. The movement continues to grow as science clearly shows the impact we are having on our planet.
With the earth being a delicate web of interconnecting environmental systems, any change to the food, climate, ocean and animal migrations could have an impact. Creatures on earth have become extinct before, so we know that if these systems become off balance it can be very detrimental to life as we know it. As a parent, explaining the problems facing our planet may seem too overwhelming for a young child but by having them recycle toys and clothes with a friend, or by having them help plant a tree or garden, you can have an environmental activist in the making! As children get older they have a louder voice than they think, with all the technological communications available today we have an advantage over any other generation in history. All over the world scientists, inventors, activists and world leaders are communicating with one another. By expressing our concerns via an email, social media or becoming involved in an organization we are able to pressure our leaders about concerns facing our world today. If a child seems especially interested in participating in planet saving activities at home encourage them to take it to the next level by becoming an activist in their own schools as well. Here are some helpful tips:
Have them find out if their school practices the three “Rs” reduce, reuse, recycle. How many children use plastic baggies for their lunches? There are great alternatives for children’s lunches and reusable sandwich bags. Are there recycling trash bins available on the school grounds? Does your school have an organic garden to help educate children about the environmental impact of using pesticides and herbicides? Have them organize an event where they can plant a school yard tree. Arrange bins for recycling of old toys and clothes. Organize “pick up litter day” on the school grounds. There are many ways a child can inspire others to get involved.
Encourage your child to share their ideas and concerns about ways they can help their environment. Practicing Earth Day every day helps protect their future. Let them know, any change big or small, can make a difference!
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