Earth Day (April 22) is one of my favorite days to celebrate because I think the earth is a beautiful place that needs to be taken care of. Like anything precious or of value, our earth should be protected #1. Plant trees or a garden One way to spend time with your family, get some fresh air and create a better environment for your kids is to plant trees! I’ll admit, I wouldn’t know the first thing about planting a tree from a seed, but with the help of arborday.org, you can plant a tree that has already begun growing. If you are interested in planting trees in your local park, be sure to contact your parks and recreations department first. You could also start a little herb and vegetable garden in your yard, which we have fun with every year. If you have never grown veggies before, cilantro is the easiest and fastest. Once you get that going, you should feel a little more confident in trying something else. #2. Find a local farmer’s market April marked the opening of all of the farmer’s markets in our area. Spring has sprung, so veggies and fruit are ripe and ready to be harvested! Some of my favorite outings with my toddler are going to farms, picking veggies and having a picnic by the garden. Other markets have plenty of activities, such as face paintings, live music, crafts for kids or gardening workshops. #3. Conduct a neighborhood or park clean up You can do a simple search online to see if there are any city wide cleanups, such as keepamericabeautiful.org. Otherwise, you can create your own cleanup team with your family or neighborhood. Host a block party or barbeque as a thank you for neighbors who join in your efforts to keep your neighborhood beautiful. #4. Wear GREEN! Simple! Easy! I love it! Pick a green shirt from your closet or head to your local thrift store. My favorite idea is to use a shirt that has a stain or a tear on it, and just cover it up with a patch or some paint. Get creative with it- paint or patch a tree a quote or something earth friendly. #5. Crafts Visit this site (http://holidays.kaboose.com/earth-day) for fun craft ideas to expose your kids to earth friendly ideas. #6. Start a recycling bin Each family in our neighborhood is provided with a recycling bin, and the bin is picked up once a month. You can contact your local water and utilities department to request a bin. If your city does not provide bins, search online for local recycling centers. The last city I lived in, I just had several labeled store-bought bins in my garage that I separated all of our recyclables in, and took them to our local center every couple of weeks. It’s fun to let the kids throw the cans in the big dumpsters at the centers, too! #7. Everyday is Earth Day! Use Earth Day to create awareness of how important the earth is and of our responsibility to take care of it. Then just apply your new knowledge and ideas to every other day of the year.