Earth Day was founded in 1970 by then Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson. He had witnessed the devastating effect of an oil spill in California the previous year and wanted to do something to bring environmental concerns into the national consciousness. Hoping to tap into the energy of student anti-war protests, the date for Earth Day was set between Spring Break and final exams. For the last 49 years, Earth day is celebrated on April 22. For a fuller history of the day, see the Earth Day Network website.
When the girls first learned about Earth Day a couple years ago, they were excited to do something to celebrate. What could we do spur of the moment? I hadn’t really prepared an activity, but didn’t want to squash their excitement. I dug some used paper grocery bags out of my pantry and let each girl decorate her bag. Then we went to the park closest to our house and gathered trash into our bags.
Because it was not long after all the snow melted, there was quite a bit of trash that had been hiding. We filled our bags and played on the playground for a while. When we got home, we threw the bags in our trash can. Simple, sweet activity complete!
Since this is the 50th anniversary Earth Day, let’s make it a Trail Family event! Take some used grocery bags and let each family member decorate their bag. On April 22, 2020, go out to your trail or local park and pick up any trash you see. Share your adventures with us on Instagram. #tfearthday
I’m assuming that as a trail family, you are concerned about conservation. Getting involved in this activity is great for your family. First, it teaches our children that taking care of the environment is everyone’s job. When we all pitch in, it’s amazing how much can get done. 20 million Americans participated in the first Earth Day! Today, the Earth Day Network has 75 million members.
Second, it teaches them to be better members of their community. When they pick up trash, they are serving their neighbors who also enjoy their trails and parks. They also will be more conscientious about not throwing their own trash on the ground. Part of the reason we became a Trail Family was to teach our kids about adding to their community and loving their neighbors.
Here is a great opportunity for some Trail Family time outdoors and some good lessons for the kids. Join us for Earth Day Clean Up 2020! Where will you be cleaning up? What other projects can you do for Earth Day? Show us on Instagram and don’t forget to add #tfearthday!
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