Earth Day, Earth Day Projects

10+ Family Projects for Earth Day

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Kids in Service is focusing on the planet for the month of April.  Today we are sharing projects that you and your family can do together to help the earth. Some of the projects are very simple and can be done in under an hour and a few are a bit more complex.

Have you made your Kids in Service Earth Day Pledge yet? We have a fun Earth Day prize pack for one lucky winner and all you have to do is let us know how you and your family are going to help the planet this month. Click HERE for more details about our Earth Day Pledge.  

We hope the following projects inspire you and your family to do something for our planet this month. Happy Earth Month!

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1. Participate in Screen-Free Week

This year Screen-Free Week is happening April 29th-March 5th 2019.  This week not only conserves energy but it encourages the entire family to spend the time they would be using screens in more creative ways.  Over the years we have participated in three screen-free weeks.  The kids (and I) always dread these weeks but they end up being really great.  We spend more time outside, play lots of boardgames, read and listen to audio books.  Before the week begins, we brainstorm a list of ways to spend our screen free time and post this on our television.  This acts as a reminder to keep screens off.  The first two days are the hardest but after awhile you all will find ways to fill that screen free time.  Click Here for more info and to register.

 

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2. Earth Day Grocery Project

This is a great project for ALL ages!  I have participated in this project a few times and it is a lot of fun.  If your local grocery store has paper bags, talk to a manager about borrowing a stack to decorate for Earth Day (April 22nd).  Decorate the bags with Earth Friendly messages and pictures.  Return the bags before Earth Day so that the stores can use them for groceries on Earth Day.  This is a great project to do as a family, with friends, as a project in your child’s classroom or with Brownies or Cub Scouts.  Click HERE to learn more.

 

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3. Homemade Seed Balls

Miss Rumphius is one of my favorite Children’s books and this project allows you and your family to make the world a more beautiful place, just like she did. This guerrilla gardening project helps to plant native flowers in places that could use a bit of love. Perhaps you have a vacant lot in your neighborhood, or the local road or highway needs some brightening or maybe you want to use these in your own backyard.  They are easy to make and take no care once they are spread.  Here is what www.gardeningknowhow.com had to say about how easy this project is: “The last step in how to make flower seed balls is sowing them. Yes, you can place them carefully over the area to be planted or you can gently toss them one at a time, which is a lot more fun. Don’t bury them and don’t water them.–gardeningknowhow.com” Click HERE to learn how to make your own Native Seed Balls or you could buy THESE.

 

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4. Park or Neighborhood Clean Up

Grab some gloves, some trash bags and head out to clean up your street or park.  We live in the Northeast and when the snow melts, the roads and parks are a mess.  April is a wonderful time to go out and clean up your local spaces.  I have had children as young as two years old participate in trash clean ups.  The key to this project with children is to  clean up a safe space (parks are great), have them wear non-latex gloves and make sure you have plenty of adult supervision.

Litterati is a way to get the the older kids excited about cleaning up trash.  Literrati is an app that tracks your trash clean up and the types of litter you find and is found around the world.  The company then organizes the data they collect and work with big brands to find more sustainable production methods.

 

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5. Conserve Energy at Home

It is easy to save energy as a family by putting a few new rules and routines in to place.   Sit down as a family and discuss all the ways that energy is used in the house.  If the kids are old enough, share your latest electric and/or heating bills.  Discuss places where energy may be wasted (lights, heat, AC, electronics being plugged in, long showers etc.) and brainstorm solutions to help conserve.  Set a family goal, “If we save on energy costs this month, we can go on a family bike ride, bowling or have pizza on the beach etc.”  Visit this website for 31 Tips on how to conserve energy in your home.

 

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6. Backyard Wildlife Habitat Project

If you enjoy animals visiting your backyard, you can provide a few key things to help with their survival.  Just like humans, the animals in your yard need food, shelter, water and space to raise their young.  CLICK HERE and HERE for steps on how you can create your own backyard wildlife habitat.

 

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7. Reduce Plastic Use

All over the world, countries are working to reduce their use of plastic.  Plastic bags and straws are being banned and people are working to find alternate solutions to plastic. According to National Geographic, every year between 5 million and 14 million tons of microplastic flow into our ocean from coastal areas.  These tiny particles of plastic are being consumed by fish, marine birds and whales.  These plastics collect in their systems and can attract harmful chemicals which then transfer into the muscles of the fish (the parts that humans consume).  Plastics have been found in great numbers 2,000 miles off shore.  It is up to us to take this issue seriously and help future generations by forming new habits now. Click HERE for 51 ways to reduce your use of plastic at home and on the go. Click HERE to learn about how one African village transformed their plastic trash problem into treasure.  You can also learn how to make your own handbag out of plastic bags!

 

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8. Donate Gently Used Toys, Games and Clothes

People who are homeless are always in need of gently used clothing (especially warm clothing in the cold winter months), new toiletries or toys that are in good shape.  Give everyone in your family a bag or a box and challenge them to fill it with as many quality items as they can.  Once you fill your bags or boxes drop them off at the local homeless shelter.  This service project is not only helping people in need but it is also challenging the family to declutter.  This is a win-win in my book!

 

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9. Water Conservation

I spent a year of my life teaching children and families about the importance of water conservation.  Our planet is covered in water but only 1% of the worlds water is available to drink (and a lot of that water is polluted).  It is so important to keep our limited supply of fresh water clean and to be mindful of our water use.

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There are lots of ways that you and your family can work to conserve water.  Have a family meeting and fill out the chart above (or one like it).  Talk about how much water you consume as a family and brainstorm ways that you can cut back (only use the dishwasher when it is full, turn off the water while brushing your teeth, take shorter showers etc.). Set a family water goal and decide on a family outing (or prize) for when you meet that goal.

 

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10.  Host a Water Clean-Up Day

Do you live on or near a body of water that could use a little love?  Recruit some volunteers (or just head down as a family) and clean up a local beach, lake, river, stream or wetland.  Trash on our beaches and in our waterways can kill the wildlife that depend on the waterways. Please spend an hour or two to help clean up these fragile ecosystems.

Looking for an organized beach clean up?  Click HERE or HERE to locate beach clean ups near you.  River Clean ups can be found HERE and HERE.

Other Project Ideas

Plant a tree

Plant a garden

Build a Bluebird box

Build a Bat Box

Start a Compost Pile

Have you entered our Kids in Service Earth Day Pledge yet?  Click the images above to learn more and you may win our Earth Day Prize Pack!

(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click on the image of the books above you will be taken to Amazon.  20% of all profits made through this site will be donated to our charity of the season.  You can see the current charity on our Book Corner page.  Thank you for supporting our site and a very noble charity.)  

Earth Day, Earth Day Projects

Earth Day Pledge

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Earth Day really should be EVERY day but here at Kids in Service we are going to celebrate Earth Month.  For the entire month of April we will be focusing on ways that we can ALL help the planet.

As part of this celebration, we are asking EVERYONE out there to make an Earth Day Pledge.  This pledge is open to families, single folks, grandparents, couples…ANYONE!  What can you do this month to help our Earth?

Will you clean up trash on your street or in your local park?  

Will you work to use less energy by changing the light bulbs in your house to more energy efficient bulbs and make sure you turn off the lights before leaving the room?

Will you conserve water by turning off the faucet while you brush your teeth and taking shorter showers?

Will you cut down on your plastic use in your home?

Will you bring a reusable cup with you to your local coffee shop?

Will you bring reusable grocery bags with you to the market?

Will you plant a garden?

Will you start a compost pile?

The possibilities are endless…

Once you have decided on your pledge, please post it in the comments below or share it on the Kids in Service Facebook page or Instagram page (share your pledge on ANY of our Earth Month posts).  If you post your pledge on your own page, please use the hashtag, #KISearthpledge so we can find your pledge.

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Share your pledge and you will be entered to win an Earth Day Prize Pack (open to US and Canada residents only).  Thank you to Kimberly Bermani, my Norwex consultant, for donating an Envirocloth and a sample of my FAVORITE laundry soap.  CLICK HERE to learn more about Norwex and how you can clean your home with just water.  It makes spring cleaning a breeze!!!

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We’d love to see photos of you working toward your pledge.  You can either email them to us (communityserviceforkids@gmail.com) or post them on social media and use the hashtag #KISearthdayplege. If you submit a photo, you will gain five additional entries into our drawing.

Let’s all work together to help our planet!

The drawing will take place on April 30th, so you have until 11:59 PM EST on April 29th to submit your pledge for the planet (1 entry) and your photo (5 additional entries).     

 

 

Blog, Earth Day, Earth Day Projects, Kindness, Service Projects for Families

Cradles to Crayons Organization

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I am so excited to have one of our INCREDIBLE kids writing for the site today!  Please welcome Chloe!  Chloe is 11 years old and wanted to share with you an amazing organization called Cradles to Crayons where she recently volunteered with her family and friends.  Cradles to Crayons has three locations in Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago.  Here is some background info about Cradles to Crayons (written by Chloe’s mom).

Cradles to Crayons is a non-profit organization that not only serves families in need, but provides opportunities to the wider community to contribute to this service in multiple ways. CtoC are masters of organization, and let volunteers know how their contribution of time, or items, or cash will help others.  Individuals, families, and any group or organization can sign up to sort books, toys, school and art supplies, personal care items, clothes and more for a two hour block of time. The CtoC staff explain how their work and the work you do as a volunteer will directly help families and children who face challenges many of us cannot even imagine. We can’t wait to return and bring new friends to share in this meaningful experience. Learn more here: https://www.cradlestocrayons.org/

Chloe’s Experience

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When I walked in for the first time, I saw hundreds and thousands of things.  It was like a big country with millions of islands!  We sat down at a table to decorate a birthday bag.  It feel very home like there.  The people assigned us to the book section, then the lady told us the rules.  One of them was don’t steal any of the books of course!  Another was no religion, holiday or family books because we don’t want to offend someone for what their culture or religion is.  And we don’t want to put in books about a family because that might make a little girl or boy feel bad about their circumstances.

One job was to sort books into their right age group, another was to make piles of books and put them in the finished age categories.  The age groups started at zero to two, up to eleven to twelve.  I did both jobs.

We were assigned to do this for two hours, sounds like a lot but when you start to get into  it, it feels more like 20 minutes!  I must have done over fifty piles of books.  One of the important rules was that kids zero to two must only aha board books, so they don’t hurt themselves.  And kids also zero to two must only have three books in their piles because they are younger so they won’t be doing that much reading.  And so three and up kids have five books in their piles.

Once it was over, I was really sad.  I was having an amazing time and I didn’t want to stop! But I had to, so I told my mom we have to come back here again soon!  We then proceeded back to the tables we started at and heard that our book group helped over 150 kids and their families!  And all the groups put together ended up helping over 900 kids and their families!

After that me and my friends couldn’t help ourselves, so we went back pretending my friend lost her bracelet but really, we just wanted to make more pies! The lady then caught us and asked us what we were doing (and of course I had a pile of books in my hands) and my friend said quickly; “Oh, I just lost my bracelet and I was hoping to find it, oh look it’s right here!” Then we scrammed!

I had so much fun.  It’s important to take a break from your life and remember that there are billions of kids and their families out there suffering while you may be sitting on your couch watching TV and eating amazing and delicious food.  While for some people, a bag of chips is dinner!  It feels really special to know that a little girl, boy, mom or dad is happy because of something you did!  So go to Cradles to Crayons to have that special experience!

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Book Corner, Earth Day Projects

One Plastic Bag

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This book is the true story of a woman named Isatou Ceesay who took on the growing problem of trash in her village in Gambia.  The trash littering the streets was killing goats (who ate plastic bags), causing malaria outbreaks and creating a terrible smell.  Isatou decided she could no longer ignore this problem and gathered a group of women to recycle the trash and turn it into treasure.

You can learn more about her story by reading the beautiful children’s book, One Plastic Bag (pictured above) or by visiting oneplasticbag.com.  Below there is a video where Isatou teaches you how to make your own purses out of plastic bags.  This is a very important story to share with your children of all ages.

 

 

The books in this post contain Amazon Affiliate Links.  If you click on one of the pictures of the books and choose to purchase a book through this site, 20% of all proceeds will be donated to the Kids in Service charity of the season.  This season the charity is Sole Hope.  You can learn more about Sole Hope HERE.