It’s Earth Week, the world’s largest environmental movement that highlights sustainability and environmental protection. If you’re interested in helping the children in your life cultivate ecological stewardship and a love for our magnificent planet, you’ve come to the right place! At The Ecology Works, the well-being of people and the planet is at the forefront of all that we do.
This Earth Week, consider trying some of these fun and educational sustainability activities for kids to help them enjoy the natural world around them and learn about caring for our planet.
1. Talk about the “Three R’s”
Teaching children about “the three R’s”: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle – can be an excellent jumping-off point for a sustainability discussion. Finding ways to reduce your waste, reuse things, and recycle helps introduce children to being environmentally conscious. Children also learn through singing. This Jack Johnson song is a great one they can learn to sing along to!
2. Separate Trash At Home
The average American tosses 4.4 pounds of trash every single day. That figure may not seem all that astonishing on the surface, but with 330.2 million people living in the United States, that’s roughly 730,000 tons of daily garbage – enough to fill about 70,000 garbage trucks! Teaching children how to sort and dispose of trash, recyclables, and compostables properly is a great place to start with sustainability in your home. Make it fun by crafting decorative labels for the receptacles, and talk to your kids about which items go in which bin.
3. Calculate Your Family’s Carbon Footprint
Calculating your family’s carbon footprint together is a great way to help your children understand the resources they use daily, identify ways to use fewer resources, and ultimately live more sustainably.
Related: What Is A Carbon Footprint
4. Explore Nature
What better way to foster a love of the environment than by exploring nature? This can be as simple as going on a hike at a park near your home, taking a weekend camping trip, or even exploring the world’s beauty virtually. You can check out many of the Earth’s wonders, including the Great Barrier Reef and the Galápagos Islands, from the comfort of your living room via Google Street View. This activity may give your children a better understanding and appreciation of why caring for the natural environment is so important.
5. Volunteer Together
Setting time aside for a local beach cleanup, neighborhood garden project, or park maintenance day can do good for the planet while also getting little ones engaged in the community.
6. Try Recycled Art Projects
Repurposed materials can make great art supplies. Whether you’re using bottle caps, paper towel rolls, scraps of paper, buttons, old clothing, or anything else entirely, the sky's the limit with recyclable crafting. Consider trying one of these fun art projects or coming up with your own way to turn used materials into works of art.
7. Start a Garden
Whether you create a lush backyard garden or start growing herbs indoors on a sunny windowsill, gardening together teaches kids about where food comes from and can be a genuinely beneficial experience. Here’s a fantastic list of ideas for gardening activities for kids.
8. Clean Up Your Neighborhood
Picking up just a few pieces of garbage in your area can have a considerable impact. Whether this means collecting litter when walking around the block or going to a nearby park and picking up rubbish, your family’s efforts can make your neighborhood cleaner and more beautiful for everyone.
9. Have A Sustainability Storytime
Reading books about nature and conserving the environment is another fantastic way to get kids thinking about sustainability. Luckily, there are plenty of engaging options for every age group. Find some inspiration with this list of 100 sustainability books for kids.
10. Shop at Your Local Farmer’s Market & Cook a Meal Together
Did you know that buying groceries from your local farmer’s market can reduce habitat loss, curb pollution, and more? Taking a family trip to your local farmer’s market (or, even better, making shopping local a part of your family’s routine) can help your kids learn about sustainable food production while getting the ingredients for a delicious meal.
Check out this list of kid-friendly recipes straight from the farmer’s market for inspiration.
11. Have a Nature Movie Marathon
Climate change is challenging to discuss with children, but kid-friendly movies on the subject are an excellent way to discuss the matter and inspire kids to do their part to preserve the planet. Animated treats like Wall-E, The Lorax, and Ice Age: The Meltdown are a great way to expose younger children to the concept of conserving our natural environment. Documentaries like The 11th Hour, More than Honey, and David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet can help older kids to better understand our planet and the effects our activities have on it.
12. Collect Rainwater
Rainwater has been collected for a variety of reasons for thousands of years! Only in the last few decades have we stopped relying on this free water source. The simple activity of collecting rainwater will show your child how much water is available in every rainstorm. Kids can water plants or fill up a water table with rainwater collected outside.
13. Have an Energy-Free Morning
Challenge your kids to have a morning (or an entire day if you’re up for it!) without using any power. Lights, TVs, computers, tablets, the microwave, etc., are all out for the morning! This activity will quickly draw your child’s attention to the plethora of items they use that require energy. After the exercise, talk about the importance of conserving energy and how habits like turning off the lights when leaving the room are good for the planet.
14. Make Eco-Friendly Swaps at Home
Do you still use standard light bulbs, regular showerheads, or single-use plastic wrap? Make a day (or a weekend) out of improving your home’s sustainability through simple upgrades, such as swapping out light bulbs to compact fluorescents, installing low-flow showerheads, and trading plastic wrap in the kitchen for reusable linen or beeswax covers. Talk about the impact each swap can have on the environment. For example, one person using one low-flow showerhead saves 2,000 gallons of water every year. That’s a huge impact!
15. Discuss the Importance of Making Eco-Friendly Product Choices
Discuss the importance of making eco-friendly choices when purchasing products (health and beauty products, cleaning and laundry products, etc.). For example, using products that contain harsh chemicals (like heavily scented soaps, bleach-based cleaners, or fragranced laundry products) can have a negative impact on our health and our natural environment. Teaching children how to be environmentally friendly shoppers can have a lasting effect.
At The Ecology Works, we constantly strive to make our products more sustainable. From the biodegradable plant and mineral-based formulas of our Anti-Allergen Laundry Detergent and Anti-Allergen Solution to our VOC-free all-in-one cleaner and disinfectant Vital Oxide and the 100% solar-powered manufacturing plant that produces our Anti-Allergen Pet Shampoo in recycled PET bottles, every product we make comes with the promise that we are actively working toward ecologically sound products. We care deeply about our magnificent planet and hope that this list of kid-friendly sustainability activities inspires your family this Earth Week and beyond.
Have questions about our products? We have answers! The Ecology Works has been leading the way in green cleaning since 1993. We can help you select the products you need to live a better, allergen-free life. Please feel free to Contact Us or message us on Facebook. No question is too small! We’re here to help.