Earth Day is about taking the time to be grateful for our planet.  As parents, it is a great way to jump-start a lifetime of responsibility in our children. And it can start and end right in your own home or neighborhood!  Here are some ideas that don’t have to last just until sunset on Earth Day.

1. Unplug
Turn off tv’s, tablets and yes, even your cell phone.  Leave it at home if you start out on an adventure to curb any desire to check your instagram!  By unplugging, we can better connect with our surroundings and our family.

2. Hang Up the Keys
If wherever you are going is walkable or bikeable, consider getting some fresh air and exercise while reducing the release of harmful emissions into the environment.

3. Plant a tree
Trees absorb harmful chemicals in the air and in turn give off oxygen … 1 mature leafy tree can produce enough oxygen for 10 people.  Plant away!

4. Green and Clean Your Own Neighborhood
Take a walk around you own neighborhood and pick up trash.  As parents we learn that modeling is the BEST way to teach – so if you show you care and respect the environment, they will too!

5. Collect, Reuse and Create!
Collect or reuse natural materials such as cardboard, glass containers, recycled paper and flowers – and have them create their own art of craft.  Decorate a reusable grocery tote or decorate a glass jar to be used as a planter indoors!

6. Earth Day Scavenger Hunt
Create your own list of items, flower, rock, sticks pine cone, dirt and have them search the yard!  Let them get their hands dirty and connect with nature.

7.  Order the Veggie Burger
Might seem far fetched, but in fact, the meat industry contributes to nearly 1/5 of man-made greenhouse emissions – something that affects climate change.  So even if you don’t want to give up meat entirely, trying it once a week will help.

8. Look for Fair Trade Labels
Places like Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Homegoods have been on board for a while… because supporting global sustainability and empowering local farmers and workers means fair distribution – which in turn means people get paid well to produce goods in a way that doesn’t deplete our natural resources.

9.  Start a Compost Bin
Don’t throw away those fruit and veggie scraps!  Throw them in a compost bin and create nutrient-rich soil to add to your garden

10. Clean Out Your Mailbox
Those 50 page Restoration Hardware or home furnishing catalogs you get in the mail add up to millions of trees be destroyed per year.  Take a few minutes to cancel any needless subscriptions or install the PaperKarma app to do it for you!

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