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30 Activities For Earth Day

30 Earth Day Activities

Earth Day is a great day for slowing down and thinking about how you treat the environment. Not that you should be ignoring it the rest of the year, but it’s good to take an extra look sometimes and see what you can change, or if there are any little extra things you can do.

This is something the whole family can get into. Earth Day is a good time to share with the kids and anyone else who wants to participate ways to be a little kinder to our planet. So today, I decided to round up some Earth Day activities you can do, whether on your own, with your family or anyone else.


1. Take a hike.
2. Plant a tree – at your home or at a tree planting event.
3. Garden.
4. Make a pinecone bird feeder.
5. Plant seeds in empty egg crates or tin cans.
6. Walk around your neighborhood and pick up trash, or participate in a community Earth Day event.
7. Help the kids find ladybugs and other insects.
8. Go to the beach.
9. Start a compost pile.


9. Recycled paper towel and toilet paper tube tracks.
10. Make a leaf collage.
11. Make paper.
12. Make an egg carton butterfly.
13. Make litter bugs.


14. Let the kids dig in the dirt or mud.
15. Demonstrate water pollution.
16. Teach kids what can be recycled.
17. Find a way for the kids to safely walk to school. Consider a walking school bus.
18. Go to the farmer’s market.


19. Switch to a stainless steel water bottle rather than drink from single use bottles.
20. Consider which batteries you could replace with rechargeable batteries.
21. Rethink your personal care items such as shampoo, makeup and so forth.
22. Find ways to eat less meat.

Read (remember your library!)

23. The Lorax
24. Olivia’s Birds: Saving the Gulf
25. The EARTH Book
26. The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life with the Chimps
27. Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World
28. Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle
29. Compost Stew
30. Where Do Recyclable Materials Go? Read, Think, Recycle (Garbology Kids)

Want more ideas? Check out my Earth Day Activities Board on Pinterest.

Things to Do for Earth Day

Earth Day can be a bit of a challenging holiday to celebrate. It’s about doing better for the planet, but figuring out a way to do so isn’t always easy. It’s a day to keep things simple but at the same time a day to consider how you can have a positive impact. Here are some basic ideas you can do to celebrate.

1. Don’t go shopping.

Sure, there are all sorts of “eco friendly” products you could be buying, but do you really need them? Especially if they’re being advertised as a way to celebrate Earth Day, take another look at whether or not they’re really worthwhile. Anything you buy in honor of Earth Day should be something you absolutely need, not just something you like that sounds kind of eco friendly. Your purchases should absolutely not be in honor of Earth Day – they should be necessary.

2. Don’t drive.

Consider your other options instead. Can you walk, bike or take public transportation?

If you must go somewhere by car, see if there’s any way to make it into a carpool. I know many people have to get to work every day, and other options aren’t always realistic.

3. Volunteer.

You can do a lot for the planet and for people in need. Take just a bit of time out of your Earth Day or your weekend if you have to work today, and do something for a good cause.

If you can’t volunteer, pick a good cause and send in a donation.

4. Plant a tree, a garden, wildflowers.

Make the world a more attractive place by encouraging more green things to grow. It can be in your own backyard or someplace in your local area.

5. Help an entrepreneur through Kiva or other microloan sites.

These loans can help out entrepreneurs in developing countries. You can choose the project you’re funding. Microloans aren’t perfect, but they’re a way to help people get a business going in communities that need help.

6. Go meatless for the day or longer.

If there were ever a day to eat entirely vegetarian, Earth Day is the day. Skip the meat and try out some great new vegetarian or vegan meals. You might find some new favorites.

7. Clean out your closets.

Get rid of the clutter in your own life and donate it to charity. You’ll be glad to be rid of the excess.

8. Turn off the TV, computer, etc.

How little electricity can you use today? Give it a try and see how many other ways you can enjoy life. For best results, unplug everything that isn’t in use to cut out the phantom power load.

9. Get outside.

Enjoy some of the natural beauty of your area. It might be in your backyard, it might be a hike in a local park or nature reserve. Just get outside and remember why our planet is beautiful and worth helping.

Meatless “Shepherd’s” Pie

For our Earth Day dinner last night, I made a recipe called Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie. Well, approximately. I didn’t have all the ingredients. No Vegemite or similar, and we were out of carrots. But I came pretty close.

Cooked the lentils and barley in veggie broth for about an hour all together. Threw in some garlic and a variety of spices. Sauteed some chayote squash and asparagus, and added them when the barley was close to done. Added in some frozen green beans. Thickened the remaining liquid with a flour and water mixture.

Topped with mashed potatoes and some mozzarella, then threw the thing in the oven for long enough to melt the cheese.

In other words, I didn’t follow the recipe very precisely. I took the idea and ran with it. That’s pretty much how I cook.

I did most of the cooking in my cast iron skillet. I love that thing. No transferring a hot mess into a casserole dish to cook in the oven, and it really saves on cleanup.

A Hit?

Finally, a new vegetarian recipe that went over well with my family. My oldest daughter in particular loved it. It took my husband nearly two hours before he said “you know, you could just add the lentils to regular shepherd’s pie.”

I was wondering how long it would take him to get to the “just add meat” stage.

That’s longer than usual, though. And he agrees with my point that it is a good meal on its own and really useful for saving money or just not having to worry about whether or not there’s any meat defrosted.

One step at a time. One step at a time. I’m just glad to have a new, highly acceptable vegetarian meal to rotate in.

The Trouble with Earth Day

Earth Day is a great concept. Encourage people to take better care of our planet. Make them more aware of what we’re doing to our environment and how to help make things better.

But this is the real world. And that means corporations loooove Earth Day. What better chance for them to show that they’re wonderful, delightful, responsible corporate citizens who care about the things that we care about?

No matter what they really do.

I’ve been having a lot of fun going around reading various Earth Day posts, and I see that I am far from the only one frustrated with this. No surprise there. I rather liked this video:

I picked that one up over at It’s Getting Hot in Here.

Jennifer Lance at Eco Child’s Play is frustrated with Lockheed Martin recommending green books for kids, and I have to agree with her point, even if some commenters bring up points on where the company makes some green efforts. I find it particularly scary that the study she mentions where they’re paying people to drink water contaminated with perchlorate every day for six months is happening not that far from me. Ewww!

Sometimes I Just Have to Laugh

Not all posts remind me of how much greenwashing goes on. Sometimes they make me laugh because what they want me to do is almost impossible for me.

Take this post on Mother Nature Network about Disney’s hat offer to celebrate the release of their movie, Oceans. All you have to do is six plastic bottles or aluminum cans to your local Disney store on April 22 and you’ll get a free hat made from recycled bottles.

Do you have any idea how long it would take me to save that many plastic bottles or aluminum cans??? I mean, if they take milk jugs I could manage it in a few weeks, I haven’t entirely eliminated plastic from my life, but I don’t buy drinks in small containers if I can help it.

What Can You Do?

If this frustrates you like it does me, just keep trying to be green and encouraging others to do so as well. Don’t let the greenwashers fool you. Speak out when you see greenwashing in action.

Most of us won’t manage to live a perfectly green life, even on Earth Day. But we can keep trying to do better.

What Small Green Steps Have You Taken? Ready for More?

A few months ago I joined the One Small Change challenge. Today being Earth Day, I thought I would share how things went and where to go from here. Plus I’ll share some Earth Day tips from around the web.

How Did One Small Change Go?

My ability to stick with my changes for One Small Change were pretty varied. Getting to the co-op for fresh, mostly local and/or organic produce has been difficult to say the least. Saturday mornings just have not been the right time for that to be easy for me. But I’m determined to keep doing it when the schedule works out. I love the variety available.

Washing my hair with baking soda and vinegar is actually working pretty well now. I’ve used shampoo every here and there, but it’s maybe every 3 weeks. My hair seems to be adjusting pretty well. So far no complaints from family members. The baking soda and vinegar do a very nice job of keeping my hair clean.

Eating at least one vegetarian meal a week has been very challenging. The month I chose to do it in had a lot of disruptions to my routine, which meant more meals were put together as fast as possible, too little spare time to find new recipes. But once again, I mean to stick to this.

I didn’t even come up with a new resolution for this month. Those schedule disruptions continued in too far. Things are easing up now.

Each of these changes sounded pretty easy, but it’s amazing how hard it is in real life. The ones dealing with food require pretty serious changes in my routine. The hair care routine isn’t really much different from washing my hair more conventionally, so it has been easier to do.

From here, of course, I’ll just keep trying to live as eco friendly a life as I can manage. How easy that will be I just don’t know. But this is Earth Day, and that means people have spent all week posting suggestions.

More Ways to Go Green – Earth Day Blog Posts from Around the Web

Green and Clean Mom offers 10 Ways to Make Earth Day Everyday with tips such as spending less money, using post consumer recycled toilet paper and eating local.

Mother Nature Network of course has plenty of posts on the topic of Earth Day, but I like the reminder to do things, not just attend local Earth Day celebrations. I especially like the reminder to not eat meat for the Day. The guerrilla gardening tip is fun too. My husband loves making seed bombs. And don’t forget the great reminder to let your representatives know you care about our planet!

Mashable isn’t a site focused on green topics, but they get into the act with

5 More Ways to Go Green for Earth Day. I rather think kids will enjoy their link to Green My Parents. Could be a good tool for helping your kids learn about the very real financial and environmental costs of your lifestyle.

Blisstree shares 10 places to volunteer during Earth Week, and they share links to Serve.org or Volunteermatch.org just in case none of the opportunities they list are near you.

Read, Read, Read!

Books are wonderful for learning more about what you and others can do for the environment. If you know you’ll only read the book once, try to get it from your local library. If you’re like me and reread just about everything, your own copy isn’t that bad a deal. If you already own a Kindle or other ebook reader, buying an electronic copy is not a bad way to go either.

Here are some books to consider. I haven’t read all of them, but they look promising, whether by being good for the environment or being good for your family.

I have to start out with two of my favorites, Free-Range Kids and Last Child in the Woods. They aren’t specifically about the environment, but how else are we to get kids to care about the environment if they don’t experience it? That includes giving them the freedom so many of us had as kids.

More titles to consider:

Girls Gone Green
Green Guide Families: The Complete Reference for Eco-Friendly Parents
The Omnivore’s Dilemma and/or The Omnivore’s Dilemma for Kids
Unquenchable: America’s Water Crisis and What To Do About It
Power Trip: From Oil Wells to Solar Cells—Our Ride to the Renewable Future
Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage
Eco Barons: The Dreamers, Schemers, and Millionaires Who Are Saving Our Planet
Getting Green Done: Hard Truths from the Front Lines of the Sustainability Revolution