Fun Earth Day Activities for the Whole Family

Earth Day flag created by Ron Cobb.
Earth Day flag created by Ron Cobb. | Source
Earth Day symbol created by Ron Cobb.
Earth Day symbol created by Ron Cobb. | Source

By Joan Whetzel

The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970, bringing together 10 million Americans, launching the modern environmental movement, and encouraging the enactment of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and other legislation to protect the environment. Since that day, a growing Earth Day Network has spread to include over 22,000 collaboratory divisions in 192 countries to create a worldwide Earth Day and environmental movement.



Earth Day and the Earth Day Network

The Earth Day movement has expanded its programs to include Green technologies and Green activates that take place all year round, including town hall discussions, investments in clean energy, Green jobs, Green homes and Green schools and a worldwide Earth Day every April to educate the people on environmental issues and to ensure a healthy future for the world. The Earth Day Network has expanded its campaigns to cover issues ranging from green economic policies, climate change, drinking water, and saving whales, to name but a few.


The first Earth Day effectively raised awareness about the environment and helped begin changing the attitudes of the people toward the way they treated the environment. Since then the annual event known as Earth Day has brought greater awareness to Earth’s natural resources as well as a greater appreciation for the Earth itself. The Earth Day Network is responsible for global coordination of Earth Day events worldwide. Earth Day is celebrated April 22 – the anniversary of the first Earth Day in 1970 – at least through the year 2015. Earth week – the week that includes Earth Day – includes an entire week of Earth Day and green activities centered on environmental issues.

The Ecology Flag was designed by Ron Cobb, a cartoonist, who published his rendering in the Los Angeles Free Press in November of 1969.It was later placed in the public domain. The yellow symbol in the center of a green field looks something like the Greek letter Theta. It’s something like a combined “E” (for “Environment) and “O” (for “Organism”). The flag was created to resemble the American flag with the green field in the upper left-hand corner and containing 13 green and white stripes filling out the remainder of the flag.

Earth Day Anthem

Several popular songs by contemporary artists are pulled out and played on radio stations for Earth Day, though they were not written for Earth Day. But their theme and lyrics make them suitable for such an event, especially the ones that can be easily translated into other languages. New songs, written specifically for Earth Day, are adapted to children’s songs, allowing them to spread easily due to the recognizablitity of the tunes. The Earth Day Anthem, falls into this second category of songs. The lyrics, listed below, are set to the Christian hymn, “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee” – otherwise known as the “Ode to Joy” segment of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.


Simple gifts of nature that all join into a paradise
Now we must resolve to protect her
Show her our love throughout all time
With our gentle hand and touch
We make our home a newborn world
Now we must resolve to protect her
Show her our love throughout all time
With our gentle hand and touch
We make our home a newborn world

Activities

The Earth Day Network endorses a number of activities worldwide. Among them:

  • · Promotion of Environmental Education in schools.
  • · Green Schools Campaign, for Grades k through 12, aimed at saving money, energy and water conservation, and fostering a healthier environment for students.

Other Activities that anyone can take part in may be practical measures around the home or in one’s daily life. Others may be community activities on Earth Day or during Earth Week. These activities could include:

  • · Activities to clean up the environment around one’s neighborhood and in one’s community.
  • · The Adopt-A-Highway program.
  • · Planting a vegetable garden in an apartment planter garden, a backyard garden a school garden, or a community garden.
  • · Exercising outdoors instead of sitting in front of the computer or TV all day.
  • · Riding bikes instead of driving places.
  • · Spring cleaning around the house with the mantra “reduce, reuse, recycle” in mind as well as the idea of not filling up the nearest landfill.
  • · Watching the film, or reading the Dr. Seuss book, “The Lorax” to teach kids about environmentalism.
  • · Compost kitchen food peels and leftovers for flower beds and garden beds.
  • · Examine your energy bills, looking for ways to cut down on energy and water use at home.
  • · Check window and door seals, repairing and replacing bad seals to prevent energy loss around windows and doors.
  • · Turn off lights when not in a room.
  • · Turn off water, not letting it run while washing dishes or brushing teeth.
  • · Holding Family Swap meets.
  • · Creating crafts using recyclable materials to be given ad gifts or sold at local craft sales.
  • · Take a hike
  • · Have picnics that don’t include grilling foods.
  • · Eat locally grown, organic foods.
  • · Reuse old clothes or donate them for others to use.
  • · Play in the dark indoors (by candlelight) or outdoors by campfire.
  • · Make and use a solar oven
  • · Locate Earth Day and Earth Week events near your home, and attend these events with your family.

Brazos Bend State Park Earth Day, Near Houston, Texas

On the Saturday before Earth Day, Brazos Bend State Park offers a day-long family event. The Park is open to the general public, with a day pass for a nominal fee, and to those who rent camp sites at the park. Visitors can partake of the hiking trails, picnic sites, and time in nature as well as organized events and hands-on activities planned by the Park as well as demonstrations from conservation groups, both local and national. This event attracts about 3000 visitors each year.


Resources

Earth Day Network. About Earth Day Network.

http://www.earthday.org/about-earth-day-network

History. Earth Day.

http://www.history.com/topics/earth-day

Wikipedia. Earth Day.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_Day#Subsequent_Earth_Day_events

PBS. Earth Day Games.

http://pbskids.org/games/earthday.html

The Teacher's Guide. Earth Day Activities.

http://www.theteachersguide.com/earthdaylessonplans.htm#Earth Day Lesson Plans/Earth Day Thematic Units/Earth Day Activities

Apples 4 the Teacher. Create an Energy Efficient Home.

http://www.apples4theteacher.com/holidays/earth-day/articles/energy-efficient-home.html

Apples 4 the Teacher. Earth Day Activities.

http://www.apples4theteacher.com/holidays/earth-day/

The Huffington Post. Earth Day Activities for Kids.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/19/earth-day-activities-for-kids_n_1435718.html

Passport to Texas. Earth Day in State Parks.

http://passporttotexas.org/earth-day-in-state-parks/

Brazos Bend. Brazos Bend State Park Photo Gallery.

http://www.brazosbend.org/PhotoGallery/Events.html

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Comments 2 comments

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

Sounds absolutely wonderful, I do wish we did this over here in England, I love the idea of cleaning up the environment, planting etc, great hub and so interesting, nell


joanwz profile image

joanwz 3 years ago from Katy, Texas Author

Thanks Nell Rose

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