April 22nd marks the 53rd Earth Day, though the planet is much older than that! Earth Day is like Valentine’s Day for nature, it’s a chance to show our appreciation and love for the place we all call home.
190 countries participate in Earth Day, making it one of the largest celebrations in the world. There are many ways for your family to join in on the event without even leaving home.
Earth Day 2023
Did you know that every Earth Day has a theme? This year the theme is “Invest in our Planet,” a continuation of last year’s theme, which was widely successful. The goal is for everyone- governments, businesses, and citizens to pave the way to a safer and healthier future.
While you may think of “investments” as strictly spending money, that isn’t the case. Investing means dedicating time, money, or resources toward improvements. There are many ways for us all to invest in our planet.
How Can Kids “Invest in the Planet”?
There is no need for your kids to spend their allowance on Earth Day! They can learn about donating to causes they care about, but Earth Day is so much more than that. Teaching our children about the Earth, our impact, and how they can make a difference can go along way.
Climate literacy is a great way to get involved on Earth Day. This can include anything from natural sciences to the history of Earth Day.
At school, connect with your children’s teachers to discuss Earth Day celebrations that are age appropriate. Schools focus on a lot of great STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) activities that tie into environmental education nicely.
Resources can be a hard thing for children to grasp, especially living in a time when we can order something online to be delivered that day!
For young children, you should start with the basics, like the many things trees give us, including maple syrup! As a great tie in, you can try this pollution experiment to show the affects of water pollution on plants.
When you’re ready to get more in depth, discuss why we limit our use of plastics and turn off lights when we aren’t using them. Help them understand that the Earth’s resources won’t last forever, the quicker we use them up, the less we’ll have in the future.
You can start teaching children about sustainability and how to be global citizens at a very young age!
One of the easiest ways to empower kids is to let them take action. You can join a trash cleanup, plant trees or native plants, or start composting by creating a compost jar (if you aren’t ready to start your own compost bin together).
Help your children find ways to get involved that are meaningful to them.
How to Avoid Eco-Anxiety
Sometimes news about the environment can be discouraging. This is especially true for children. In fact, studies show that there has been a rise in eco-anxiety in kids. This can have a debilitating effect on all of us, if we get overwhelmed about the problem, we may not try to address it at all.
The good news is, there are steps you can take to avoid creating eco-anxiety in your kids.
Sometimes all you need to do is foster a love for the natural world. Playing outdoors has numerous benefits for us all, and can give a more positive outlook on the world.
Consider Their Age and Emotions
When teaching young children about the environment, we should always keep the lessons age-appropriate and consider their emotions. This is why finding what inspires our children is so important, there is a lot to appreciate out there.
Earth Day can inspire hope, showing us that the world is coming together to take action. People all over are finding ways to do their parts, so there is nothing stopping the rest of us from joining in.
The best way to prevent eco-anxiety for kids is to make them feel empowered. This goes back to finding meaningful steps or activities they can do (no matter how big or small) to help the world.
Start by checking out the Outdoor Safety Pledge- The Environment and Me to ensure they know what we can do to put a smile on the Earth’s face.
How to Celebrate Earth Day 2023
Find an event near you! The official Earth Day website has numerous resources and suggestions for all ages to “invest in our planet” as soon as possible.
And of course, dedicate a part of the day to appreciating our world- whether that’s getting outside for a walk or learning something new, just make sure to find some inspiration!