Published: April 12, 2021
Spring has sprung, and that means Earth Day (Thursday, April 22) is just around the corner!
Did you know there were very few laws protecting the environment in the United States before the 1970s? The first Earth Day was organized on April 22, 1970, as a way of celebrating the environment and bringing awareness to the need for environmental protection. Though progress has been made since then, there is still work to be done to protect the environment for our future and our children’s future.
This year marks the 51st anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, 2021. In honor of this eco-friendly holiday, here are three fun family activities to enjoy together to celebrate, and three easy changes we can all take to live more sustainable lives.
Earth Day Activities
Explore nature with Blue Star Parks
The great outdoors are never far from your front door with Blue Star Parks. Grab a free America the Beautiful parks pass, and download the ParkPassport app to begin exploring America’s bounty and beauty. With more than 2,000 national parks and federal recreation sites at your fingertips, there’s no shortage of wilderness to discover and memories to make!
Go on a nature scavenger hunt with your kids
Millions of children across the country have spent much more time inside their homes during the past year than normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One fun way to get outdoors again is to go on a nature scavenger hunt with your kids around your neighborhood! Create a nature-themed list of things you typically see in your community (like birds, flowers, trees, etc.), then go for a walk to find as many as you can. Bonus points if you pick up any litter you encounter along the way!
Host an eco-friendly movie night
Movie nights are a classic way to spend time with your family while keeping your children entertained. Celebrate Earth Day by choosing a movie focused on the environment. There are several great family-friendly options like The Lorax, WALL-E, A Beautiful Planet, Earth, and many more!
Everyday Sustainable Practices
Have you ever noticed your charger was warm when you plugged in your phone? That’s because devices can draw electricity from outlets even when not in use. This is known as vampire energy. It might seem like a small problem, but electricity can add up fast! Almost 5% of the United States’ total residential electricity generation can be attributed to vampire electricity, resulting in 44 million tons of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere each year1. Unplugging your appliances—like phone chargers, coffee makers, lamps, etc.—when you aren’t using them saves energy. It can even save money as the typical American household spends over $100 per year on vampire electricity2!
Use reusable cloths
The United States is the “paper towel capital of the world,” throwing away over seven billion pounds of paper towel and other tissue waste per year3. Paper towels are often made from non-recyclable materials, meaning that all this waste goes straight to landfills. Switching to reusable cloths in your home can save thousands of paper towels from being thrown away!
It’s easy to leave the water running while you’re washing your hands, doing the dishes, or brushing your teeth. But this can result in hundreds of gallons of water wasted each year and higher water bills. Consider keeping the faucet off while you scrub your hands, dishes, and teeth, and only have the water running when you need it. Your wallet and the planet will thank you!
Whether you found an activity or sustainable practice you’re interested in from this list, we hope you feel inspired to participate in this environmental movement on April 22nd and beyond!