E is For Earth Day :: Ideas for Going Green with Kids

Happy Earth Day! Each year April 22nd gives us the opportunity to dig a little deeper {sometimes literally} and think about what we can do to keep our planet beautiful, bountiful, and special for those we will leave it to – our children and their children. As a mom it’s important for me not only to set an example in our family practices, but also to interest my kids in protecting our environment. Sometimes that means a craft, and other times it’s simply a matter of pointing out how we save energy, recycle, and often up-cycle on a daily basis.

But first…that craft.

E is For Earth Day :: Ideas for Going Green with Kids

I’m gradually {as in, we are only on F is for Farm} going through letter activities with my younger boys at home. Choosing “E is for Earth Day” was the perfect fit for opening up discussion about taking care of our world and just in time for Earth Day. We washed out our lunchable containers from lunch, and I cut out a few Es and construction paper strips to prepare for making “Earth Man” after nap. After eating a snack on paper plates, we turned them over, and using blue and green paint I put in the lunchable “palette,” the kids did their best to paint their version of the Earth they looked at on my phone. Once dry, we glued arms, legs, and letter E hands and feet to create “Earth Man” who was ready to accompany us in activities to learn more about caring for our world. I’ve listed several easy options here for going beyond the Earth Day craft and living a bit more green with your family.

Earth Day Ideas1} Recycle and Up-cycle with Crafts

  • Recycle yogurt container paint holders.
  • Make new crayons instead of throwing out broken ones.
  • If your kids don’t do lunchables, create a bottle cap palette for painting.
  • Make your own bubbles and water bottle bubble blower.
  • Make toys out of cardboard – helicopters, Miles from Tomorrowland Blast Boards, shields, houses.
  • Craft from your recycle bin – Toilet paper rolls, newspapers, magazines, egg cartons, bottle caps, cereal and snack boxes, bubble wrap, and Amazon packaging make a great craft kit!

2} Save Money {and the Planet} Around the House

  • Bake you own muffins and cookies for less preservatives and packaging.
  • Make your own salad dressing.
  • Opt for refillable water bottles for you and the kids.
  • Cut an empty 2-liter plastic bottle in half. Freeze water in the bottom half and pop out to use in the cooler when traveling with cold items.
  • Make your own DIY cleaning products.
  • Cup up old t-shirts/towels to make your own cleaning cloths.

3} Talk It Up — Educate!

4} Get Outside

  • Ride around the block, and collect trash left on the ground.
  • Grow something by reusing scraps.
  • Plant an herb garden.
  • Make a bird feeder.
  • Take bikes or the wagon to the park instead of driving.

5} Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle {By Organizing and Cleaning}

  • Switch to electronic bills for less clutter/paper.
  • Meal plan – Planning ahead cuts out extra trips {gas} to the grocery and the “need” to run to the story for little things here and there.
  • Use empty tissue boxes in your pantry to hold plastic grocery bags.
  • Or even better, reduce those plastic bags by using reusable shopping totes.
  • Reuse wipes containers for storing small toys – nuts and bolts from the tool bench, Legos, etc.
  • Make {or purchase} reusable snack bags to cut down on snack bag waste.
  • Recycle your breast pump once you no longer need.
  • Wash out plastic spice containers and coffee creamer bottles really well and reuse as bathtub or water table toys before recycling or throwing out.
  • Use your local library instead of purchasing and storing so many books.
  • Reuse the Lysol wipes container to hold plastic bags in the car. {It takes up little space and houses garbage bags for road trips or park picnic visits.}
  • Instead of buying new plastic toys, use what you have to make them. {Instead of buying a plastic rocket toy, make one out of Duplos!}
  • Donate instead of throwing away – Purple Heart, Texas Paralyzed Veterans, and Houston Achievement Place are all great places to start.

One last tip :: Make your own wine! Easy, right?! Use a wine kit or make your own from the fruit you grow and bottle it in refillable wine bottles. No more extra trips to the store for you! Just kidding. Buy that! Then craft away with all the corks!

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Jenn is an English teacher turned stay at home mom to boys Wyatt {2010}, John {2013}, and Abram {2014}. South Louisiana born and raised, North Louisiana educated, and Texas “polished,” she has found Houston to be home with her husband for the past ten years. After infertility struggles, in 2010 she traded in A Tale of Two Cities for Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site and has since been busy discovering ways to learn while playing, maintaining a semi-scheduled family life, and integrating both Texas and Louisiana culture into her family. Besides making memories with her boys full time, she enjoys reading, running, crafting, cooking, and football. Y’all stop by When In Doubt, Add More Salt to read more about family adventures with the boys and Jenn’s thoughts on hot summers and Pinterest pin attempts, and her love/hate relationship with March Madness brackets.

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