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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Earth Day

Earth Day Festivals 2019

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New England

Earth Day Festival--Massabesic Audubon NH on April 13th

Earth Day Festival–Sprinfield MA on April 14th

Stonyfield Earth Fair, 5K and Kids Fun Run –Londonderry NH on April 20th.

Green Me Up--Freeport Maine on April 20th

Earth Day Celebration in Concord MA–April 27th

Framingham Earth Day Fest–April 27th

DNA Earth Day Clean Up in Providence–April 27th

Natick Earth Day–April 28th

Lowell Earth Day Festival and Parade–May 5th

Other New England Events

Earth Day 24,901 Mile Challenge–Virtual Run in Providence RI from April 1-30th

Earth Day Events in Maine

10 Best Places to Celebrate Earth Day in Vermont

List of events in the Boston Area

Earth Day Events in CT

 

Nationwide

List of Events in NY City Area

List of Events in Atlanta 

List of Events in Chicago

St. Louis Earth Day Festival–April 27th and 28th

List of Events in Dallas

List of Events in San Francisco

List of Events Happening Nationwide

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Have you made your Kids in Service Earth Day Pledge yet?  Please leave a comment on this post or on our Kids in Service social media sites to let us know what you are going to do to help the earth this month.  You will be entered to win an Earth Day prize pack!  Entries must be in by 4/30/19.  
Book Corner, Earth Day

Books for Earth Day

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Here are some of our favorite books for Earth Day.  These books are filled with positive Earth Day messages, beautiful illustrations and heroes your kids can look up to.  We’d love to know what your favorite Earth Day books are, please comment below (this post contains affiliate links, see info below).

CLICK HERE for our FREE Kids in Service Printable Booklist.  Happy Reading!

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The Wump World by Bill Peet is a fun read for kids with a powerful message about how important it is to care for our planet.  The book reminds my family of both the Lorax by Dr. Seuss and the Disney movie WALL-E.  I would recommend this book to children ages 4 and up.

 

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The Lorax is my FAVORITE Dr. Seuss book and one of my top 10 FAVORITE children’s books (I also love the original movie from the 70s).  The story has an important environmental message told in a child friendly way.  I LOVE the characters in this book and the illustrations are so much fun.  This book is wonderful for ages 3+.

 

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Just a Dream by Chris Van Allsburg (author of the Polar Express) is the story of Walter.  Walter is a litterbug and would rather watch TV than do his part to save the planet.  After a dream of what the future will look like, he beings to change his tune.  This book is great for children ages 4 and up.

 

 

image.pngThe Wartville Wizard by Don Madden is another one of our favorite stories for Earth Day.  It delivers a powerful message with humor and in a kid friendly manner.  It is the story about a man who spends his whole life cleaning up after the messy people in his town.  One day he is tired of cleaning up their trash and is granted a power over trash.  What happens next is comical and your kids will love it. I recommend this book to ages 3 and up.

 

image.pngAs I have said before, we are HUGE Brad Meltzer fans in our house.  We love the Ordinary People series and we have read almost all of them.  I am Jane Goodall is a kid friendly biography of scientist and environmental activist Jane Goodall.  Jane did not follow a straight and narrow path to becoming a scientist.  She followed her passion and love of animals and learned so much about the importance of patience and perseverance in her work with chimpanzees.  I recommend this book to children ages 5+.

 

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Compost Stew by Mary McKenna is a simple and fun way to introduce kids to the concept of composting.  It is an alphabet book of all of the items that can be composted and how it is done.  The illustrations are so much fun and done with collage.  I recommend this book to ages 2 and up.

 

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 The Little Gardener by Jan Gerardi is a board book meant for little hands.  It has flaps to lift and discover pictures hidden below.  In this book small children will learn all they need to start a garden.  It is the perfect Earth Day book for small children ages 0-5.

 

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Thank You, Earth by April Pulley Sayre is a beautiful book of photographs.  This book is a love letter to the earth and is filled with gratitude and beauty.  In the back they have resources for how you can take action to help our planet.  I’d recommend this book to ages 2 and up.

 

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We LOVE Gail Gibbons books in this house.  She always packs a lot of good science into these short, kid friendly books.  In this book she shares the reasons why we should recycle and how to go about doing it. I would recommend this book for children ages 5 and up.

 

 

image.pngThis book is the children’s biography of one of my heroes.  Rachel Carson wrote a book in the early 60’s, called Silent Spring.  This book alerted the world to the harmful effects of DDT and other pesticides that they were using and started an environmental movement.  This book is the story of her life and how she came to write that important book .  I would recommend this book for ages 6 and up.

 

image.pngBecause of an Acorn by Lola and Adam Schaefer is a simple story that explains the connection between all living things.  So many living things depend upon that one little acorn.  The illustrations are beautiful and in the back there are tips on how your family can help save forests.  If you get the scholastic book orders, this book can be found in there for much cheaper.  This story would be wonderful for ages 2 and up.

 

image.png One Plastic Bag by Miranda Paul  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), caused malaria outbreaks and created 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. I love the beautiful illustrations in this book and the powerful message is one that all people over age 3 should hear.  You can learn how to make your own plastic bag purse by clicking HERE.

 

image.pngThe Bee Book by Charlotte Milner is filled with facts and information about bees.  You will learn the different species of bees, how they make honey and why they are so important.  My daughter is so afraid of bees (as are many people) and this book shares how important bees are to our planet and what the world would look like without them.  This book is jam packed with information but I think younger kids would still benefit from the pictures and if a simplified version of the text.  I would recommend this book to ages 3 and up.

 

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The Tree Lady by H Joseph Hopkins tells the true story of Katherine Olivia Sessions and her love of nature and trees.  Katherine grew up in the late 1800s and was the first woman to graduate form the University of California with a degree in science!  Taking a job in San Diego, she could not believe the barren landscape.   She followed her heart and dreams and led a movement that transformed the city into the lush place it is today.  This book would be great for ages 5 and up.

 

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If Sharks Disappeared by Lily Williams is a wonderful visual for just how fragile the web of life is.  Sharks misunderstood and often create a lot of fear for humans.  This fear has caused many species to become endangered.  This story shows what life would be like without sharks and how it would affect all creatures on earth (including humans).  I would recommend this book for ages 3 and up.

 

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 The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind picture book by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer is the true story of 14 year old William Kamkwamba and his effort to help his village during a terrible drought.  William spent all of his free time trying to figure out how to bring electricity to his village and using junk scraps, built a windmill.  This book would be great for ages 6 and up.

 

 

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This is the original book written by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer.  This book would be great for middle school and above. If you have Netflix, they created a heartfelt family movie (TV-PG) based on this story.

 

 

 

 

(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.)