Holidays are so interesting to me. Valentine’s Day is the day to show love. Thanksgiving is the day to give thanks. Easter is the day to … paint eggs? Obviously, most holidays are an opportunity to bring into focus values and attitudes that, hopefully, we are learning to express year-round, not just a few hours a year.
Earth Day is no different. It’s an opportunity to remind ourselves, our families, communities and elected officials that Earth love is soooo important, that this Mother is worthy of our care, attention and appreciation.
Here are some ways in which your family can make Earth Day a true celebration:
1. Spend time outdoors. Whether you’re in the country, suburbs or an urban setting, make a point to spend some time outdoors. This may be your own backyard, a local park or reserve, or the botanical gardens. If you can, my vote would be to go somewhere special and beautiful in order to bypass the contempt of the familiar and to support an experience of appreciation and awe.
2. Check out a local fair. As the importance of taking care of the planet is becoming more a part of mainstream awareness, the number of green festivals and fairs across the country is increasing. Check out your local paper or bulletin board to see if there’s one in or near your town. It could be educational and fun for all.
3. Make a special meal using locally produced ingredients. Explain to your children where the products are grown, helping them to realize that food doesn’t “come from” stores. If the weather’s pleasant, a visit to a local farm might make a good outing.
4. Express thanks. At mealtime, have each person express something for which they’d like to thank the Earth.
5. Do something hands-on:
- Plant a tree or a native plant. To find out which trees are indigenous to your area and where the best places are to plant them, contact your local Department of Forestry.
- Clean up a room in your home together finding anything that can be recycled or donated for reuse. Don’t stop there. Actually dispose of items appropriately and celebrate with a yummy homemade treat.
- Join a community project. Many communities have activities celebrating Earth Day in which your families can participate in helping to clean-up, conserve or preserve the health of your local environment.