This year for Earth Day, gather the whole family to celebrate and make an entire day of it! Earth Day falls on April 22 and originally celebrated at Spring Equinox. Now it is an annual day with events held worldwide to increase awareness and appreciation of our natural environment.
British Columbia is home to some of the most amazing urban green space on the planet, and it is no wonder BC inspires such a devotion to sustainability. We are surrounded by a striking mountain panorama, miles of serene Pacific shoreline with some of the most breathtaking views in the world.
The Vancouver region and Vancouver Island are beautiful places to live. Parents raising their children here are teaching them about sustainability as much as they can and going green is easy when it is taught as a way of life in every household. It is pretty easy to make Earth Day a year round celebration by making it a way of life in your home.
Make it engaging for your family:
- Create some initiatives in your home and see who can get the most “earth points’ by doing something each day to help the environment or to save energy. Keep track of points on a chart and let your child exchange points for an earth friendly reward at the end of the month.
- Collect refunds! Keep all refundable items in a bin and let the kids know that the more they remember to recycle, the more cans and bottles they can cash in at your local bottle depot. Although it may seem like only a few cents here and there, if your family recycles enough and makes a big effort, it will add up quickly.
- Save your recyclables for arts and crafts and school projects throughout the year. My daughter is always being asked to bring in string, cans, and related items for various school projects and science experiments.
- Bring your own reusable cup or tumbler to your local coffee shop, and save the paper cups. Children can get their steamed milk or hot cocoa in their own mug too and most coffee shops offer a discount for bringing your own mug.
I started teaching my daughter in her toddler years, to be environmentally friendly and I feel that it has done wonders. Now that she is entering the preteen years she carries a sense of pride for protecting the environment. Going green is super easy and everyone in the family can help. My daughter enjoys the incentives and she likes doing her part too. A sense of accomplishment is another great benefit gained from being environmentally friendly. Your child can help out around the house by turning off lights when they leave a room. Get them to routinely recycle their juice boxes, pop cans, plastics and cardboard.
British Columbia schools demonstrate eco-friendly responsibility by implementing environmentally friendly initiatives such as bottle and clothing drives; energy saving tips for everyday use; and the use of recyclable items in classrooms. Teachers and parents can work together to motivate and educate children at an early age about easy ways to do their part to care for Mother Earth.
Some schools have children involved by having them pick up garbage around the neighborhood to teach them about respecting their surroundings and where they live.
Earth Day is a day to celebrate, go green and take part in activities around your neighbourhood. In the process, we can all learn from each other. Even young toddlers rolling on the grass and checking out the petunias can inspire us to take care of the captivating nature that surrounds us.
So start now by getting your family involved. Check out a great website where children can learn about being eco-friendly and have fun with games and activities www.ecokids.ca
Chelene is a Vancouver-based Freelance Writer and a part-time student in the Writer’s Studio Program at SFU. She and her 10 year old daughter Desiraye are currently working on a family goal which revolves around trying to make their home more energy- efficient.