Kumon’s Guide to Celebrating Earth Day, Every Day
April 16, 2012 ~
Toru Kumon’s mission for Kumon was “to foster sound, capable people and thus contribute to the global community.” Part of contributing to the global community includes taking care of and protecting our Earth. Earth Day, celebrated on Sunday, April 22, puts people of all ages in an environmental mindset. To help foster conversation within your family about the importance of nature and to inspire actions you can take at home, here are some ideas on how you can do your part to treat the Earth better, every day.
Celebrate the Great Outdoors
Take the time to build your child’s appreciation of all things natural. What better way to encourage appreciation than through celebration? When the weather is nice, do something special outside with the family, such as going on a picnic, visiting a national forest or exploring a wildlife refuge. Talk about the experience and what made it special for your child. The more time your child spends in the fresh air learning about the natural world, the more he or she will understand its value and importance. When the weather is less than ideal and being outside is not an option, read a book or watch a movie that focuses on the Earth. Some book ideas from the Kumon Recommended Reading List include My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell, A White Heron and Other Stories by Sarah Orne Jewett and Old Mother West Wind by Thornton W. Burgess.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
We’ve all heard it before, but the three “R’s” are perhaps the simplest yet most important things we can do to celebrate Earth Day every day. Reduce your impact on the environment by turning lights off when leaving a room, unplug electronics not in use and purchase products that use less packaging. Reusing unwanted household items can be a fun and crafty family activity. For example, plastic containers can have several uses: bird feeders, vases, terrariums and so much more. Old T-shirts that are too worn out to donate to a charity can be turned into a cushy bathmat or a patchwork quilt. With a little creativity, the possibilities are endless.
While many people recycle things like aluminum cans, plastic bottles and newspapers, did you know that you should also recycle unwanted electronics and batteries? Recycling this kind of waste is incredibly important because it can be dangerous if disposed of improperly. To find out more about how and where you can recycle, visit earth911.com and search for recycling centers near you. Challenge yourself every day to reduce your consumption, reuse what you have and recycle what you no longer need.
Keep the Conversation Going Year-Round
Part of celebrating the Earth every day is continuing the conversation all year long. While Earth Day is a significant reminder of our planet’s importance, it is important to maintain environmentally sustainable habits year-round. Don’t be afraid to talk to your children about difficult issues and current events affecting our environment today. While some of the realities may be difficult to discuss, try to keep an open line of communication and focus on the power that people have to inspire hope and positive change.
However you choose to make your everyday life a little bit “greener,” the most important thing you can do is set an example for your children as we all work to become better stewards of our planet.