Earth Day Every Day

Grow a Garden

Do playground duty.

Grab some garbage bags, and take your kids to the park. Collect trash and talk about how you're helping take care of the environment. (Be sure to wear rubber gloves.)

Don't toss it!

bring these items to your child's preschool to be used for crafts, games, dress-up, and more.

  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Paper-towel and toilet-paper rolls
  • String
  • Stationery
  • Egg cartons
  • Milk and juice cartons
  • Coffee cans and lids
  • Bottle caps
  • Spray bottles
  • Plastic bottles and take-out containers
  • Baby-wipe boxes
  • Shoe boxes
  • Tissue boxes
  • Fabric scraps
  • Old sheets and blankets
  • Old dresses, jackets, and ties

Fix a toy.

Instead of trashing a worn or broken toy and buying a replacement, see what you can do to repair or modify it. Then say to your child, "Look, Teddy has new button eyes and a full belly now that we've restuffed him with fabric scraps."

Talk trash.

Show your child what items are recyclable, and encourage him to do his part. Give him the job of taking empty milk containers out to the "blue bin," for example. "Explain that metal cans will be reused to make more cans and that old cardboard might be used to make new paper for drawing or writing," says Laurie McLaughlin, an instructor at Penn State University's Shaver's Creek Environmental Center, in Huntington County.

Walk, don't drive.

Cut back on carbon-dioxide emissions--a primary cause of global warming--and conserve natural resources by driving less and walking more. Aside from the environmental benefits, going on foot with young children provides great physical activity.

Grow a garden.

Help your child plant and tend to a sunflower. When kids see how plants grow, they learn about the cycles of nature. Watch for birds that come to eat the seeds, and talk about how plants provide food for animals.


Copyright © 2003. Reprinted with permission from the April 2003 issue of Parents magazine.

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