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Earth Day is one of the greatest days of the year. Instead of generating money for Hallmark, like most other holidays, this simple yet powerful day is dedicated to one collective, positive goal – to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s natural environment. The environment is our common denominator, the foundation and most important level in our Maslow’s hierarchy. Let’s state the obvious, without our planet, nothing else is possible for us. A thoughtful look at environmental impacts is necessary when making a decision, as it is only with environmental sustainability that we can all ultimately prosper.
This is an important message for our children as well. Through our example, they will learn respect for the planet and daily ways to make a positive difference, such as recycling, composting, planting a tree, using reusable shopping bags, consuming less water and electricity, and generally looking toward use of sustainable products.
Where to celebrate?
Here are some fun Earth Day activities in a few different areas. Remember, there is so much going on, so put in a customized search for more in your neck of the woods.
- Union Square will host 2013 Earth Day festivities in NYC including live performances, a green vehicle runway show and exhibits by planet-friendly organizations. Later on in the day $10 can be spent (supporting the Organic Indoor Learning Program) to recycle clothing at Closet Dash’s fashion clothing swap. [Sun April 21st 11am-6pm (Free)] Also, great initiatives like NY’s Leave it Better celebrate Earth Day everyday. Come see how they are making a difference in their community.
- Wave Hill in the Bronx (NY) has a fun event line-up. The flag and kite making class with artist Miwa Koizumi, looks like a kid-pleaser, utilizing re-purposed plastic bags and bottles to make these creations shimmer. [Sat April 20th 10am-1pm (Free – with Free admission to the grounds until noon)]
- San Francisco jazzes up Earth Day with their Civic Center Festival full with all day musical entertainment, a robust speaker list (including: Label GMO and Campaign for Safe Cosmetics talks), Do-It-Yourself projects and an Eco Fashion show. This looks pretty awesome. Cali folks go check it out and report back. [Sat April 20th 10am-6pm (Free)]
- Climb those trees and get right into nature with Canopy Climbers in Seattle. Climbers age 6 and up take it to the trees with harnesses, ropes and helmets. [Sun April 21st 11am-5pm ($20/pp)]
- Ready to see the future of sustainability? Then hit up the National Mall in Washington D.C. to see college students compete with their green innovations for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency P3 Award. The EPA will sponsor hands-on events for children of all ages. The National Sustainability Expo will feature green businesses, non-profits, and college students from across the country showcasing how they will protect the planet. [Thurs April 18th 11am-6pm, Fri April 19th 9am-6pm (Free)]
- If you are in the Quebec area, check out their Jour de la Terre celebration. Courtesy of my high school French lessons, I can tell you that Canadians can join in on the Protecting Water Awareness Day where people will have the opportunity to visit booths, attend lectures, see magicians and participate in other outdoor activities. [Le dimanche, 21 avril (gratuit)]
Hanging around the house and still want to participate?
Ready? This one is super easy.
- Turn the lights off when you are not in the room
- Get your reusable stainless steel water bottles, lunch bags and use them
- Sort your newspapers for the recycling crew or better yet, discontinue your print version and sign up for an electronic newspaper
- Clean out your closets and re-purpose old clothes (Cut and make into doll dresses, donate to local organizations, etc.)
- Ride a bike, especially in lieu of using motorized transport
- Bring reusable bags with you to the grocery store
- Plant some seeds (fruit, veggies, flowers or even trees)
- Feed the birds, ducks, or whatever wildlife is near you
- Get outside and simply appreciate nature
Sprout® network has some fun eco-friendly crafts, coloring pages, and recycling charts and will be commemorating Earth Day with the release of, new to the U.S. show, Tree Fu Tom (A young boy who uses “movement magic” to travel to Treetopolis right in his own backyard tree). This animated preschool series has already taken Great Britain by storm and will be making its U.S. debut on Sprout® on April 22 at 11am EST. This premiere kicks off Sprout’s week-long “Dig into Earth Day” celebration promoting conservation and emphasizing care for the environment. This is yet another way to get the kids excited about being socially responsibly environmentalists.
Support Eco-Friendly Companies
It is a personal mission of mine and that of Hip & Healthy Kids to support eco-friendly and green brands. Here are a few favorites:
Green Toys™ are made from recycled milk cartons. On average, every pound of recycled milk jugs used in the making of Green Toys™ saves energy equal to 3,000 AAA batteries. Phthalates, BPA and Lead free. (Pictured below: Indoor Gardening Kit, Recycling Truck, Build-A-Bouquet flower stacker)
Sustainably manufactured Plan Toys® with their Kiln-dried chemical-free rubberwood, E-Zero glue, Water-based non-toxic dyes, PlanWood® – reclaimed wood chips from the production process to reduce waste and maximize material usage, Recycled and recyclable materials. This dollhouse is one of our top picks. What dollhouse do you know of that comes fully equipped with alternative energy sources (solar panels and a wind turbine)? Love!
Lunchskins eco-friendly reusable sub, snack and sandwich bags. Hand-sewn in the U.S. and so far saving more than 120 million plastic baggies from landfills. Save the plastic sandwich baggies and reach for these fun alternatives. Find out more about plastics in the ocean and Lunchskins here.
Thinkbaby’s reusable feeding gear is made of stainless steel and free of bisphenol-A (BPA), lead, PVC, phthalates, melamine, nitrosamines, and biologically toxic chemicals. The stainless keeps cold food cool and warm food warm longer and it is safer than plastic alternatives.
These products as well as other awesome hip and healthy finds can be easily accessed at the HHK storefront.
For more information on Earth Day, check out the Earth Day Network.
Remember to get engaged and spread some love to your other mother this Earth day (…and always).