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This Year Make Earth Day a Family Affair

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Tips On Getting Kids Excited About Greening Our Planet Earth

This April 22nd marks the annual celebration of Earth Day, a national American and now global expression of public will bringing together environmental activists and the community at large, to foster respect for the planet and help create a sustainable society. The following article provides creative ideas and suggestions for youngsters, teens, educators and parents seeking to celebrate the riches of our planet on Earth Day through simple, impactive gestures at the home, school, community, civic and political levels. Here are some environmentally conscious activity ideas to celebrate Earth Day:

Appreciate the Earth: Wake early, take a morning walk with your children and watch the sunrise. Breathe in the morning air and focus on the natural world around you. Reflect on the things that you love about the earth. Write in your journal, make up a story, draw a picture, write a poem. Think about how you as a family can preserve and keep the earth in good health.

Make an Earth-Day Pledge: Sit down with your family and come up with earth-friendly resolutions you can all keep. Examples could be to start recycling and purchasing recycled products, make the change to non-toxic cleaners and pesticides, purchase organic produce, bike to school or work, or become vegetarians.

Arrange a Special Earth Day Action in Your Own Community: Plant a tree or organize an Earth Day clean up - supply bags and pick a park, street, or other public area and clean it up. Host a recycling event or organize a drop off site for toxic materials such as batteries and paint cans. Set up a table in a public place and let people know how you feel about taking care of the earth. Set up a compost demonstration alongside a plant sale.

Beautify Your Schools: Participants can prepare garden beds and children can plant flowers at a later date. Have volunteers bring garden tools. Ask for landscaper and Master Gardener volunteers to help oversee this project. Plant a tree at the school.

Green Your Schools: Talk to school administrators about changing over to non-toxic cleaners and building products, serving organic milk, food and juice, and using recycled, non-toxic school supplies. Have your school conduct an energy audit. Ask them to incorporate environmental themes and activities into the school's curriculum.

Organize an Eco-field Trip: Plan a trail walk through a park, a visit to a nature center, organic farm, science museum, your local recycling plant, landfill, or water reservoir.

Plan an Earth Day Event : Write and perform an Earth Day play, organize an Earth Day Music Concert or Earth Day Art Show. Have an Eco-Fashion show, demonstrating clothes made from hemp and organic cotton. Organize an organic picnic - invite friends for lunch in the park on the grass with only organic foods. Get the local schools involved in their own special events with the kids. Your school can make a sculpture of recycled materials, or individual classes or individual children can create their own recycled art projects. Create an Earth Day mural.

Support Pro-Earth Groups : Plan an Earth Day walk-a-thon or clean-up-a-thon. Take financial pledges from people to sponsor you for each mile you walk or each garbage bag you fill. Donate the money to a reputable environmental agency or use the money for local beautification. Adopt a park, playground, or street. Adopt an endangered animal from an environmental organization.

Shop Green: Use your purchasing power to support environmentally friendly companies and products by doing your shopping online, which cuts out pollution from car travel and the waste of paper catalogs. Choose from thousands of earth-friendly products including non-toxic household cleaners, organic and hemp clothing, natural body care, energy efficient products, recycled paper and more.

Reduce Waste: Clean out your closets and bring things that you no longer need to a thrift shop. Don't throw things away! Instead, have a swap -- meet and trade clothes, toys, and books with your friends. Make a list of disposable items that you can do without. Take a grocery store tour and learn how to purchase products that have little or no packaging, organic produce, and products made of recycled materials.

Take Action! Write a letter with your children to the President or your local, state or federal government representatives asking them to focus on a particular environmental issue. Write to a corporation and congratulate them on their "good" environmental practices or ask them to clean up their act.

"The fate of the living planet is the most important issue facing mankind."
- Gaylord Nelson (founder of Earth Day)

This article originally appeared at EcoMall.com.

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