"We only have one earth, so we have to take care of her."
- Senator Gaylord Nelson
In 1970, Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin promoted this belief of his by creating the first Earth Day. On April 22, 1970, approximately 20 million people nationwide attended the first Earth Day celebrations, bringing to light the fact that this planet's resources are finite and will not last forever. The day was meant as a catalyst of our responsibility to preserve and protect what Mother Earth has given us.
Our children are the future, and the fate of this planet is not only in our hands, but in theirs too. Once we've used up and destroyed the resources of our Earth, there's no turning back. Teaching kids the message of Earth Day is the legacy we leave for all mankind. The most important thing for kids to know is that Earth Day is not one day of celebrating by creating more garbage, but instead a reminder of what we should be doing all year long. As adults, it's our job to teach them this. Believe it or not, kids do listen and learn from us.
Earth Day is an opportunity to teach your kids about valuing nature and wildlife >>>
First and foremost, kids learn through example. They need to see how protecting and preserving the Earth is important to us, not just by our words, but by our actions as well. The following are some easy ways we can teach kids the significance of Earth Day and saving our planet through our own actions:
Reusing and re-purposing rather than using disposable items. Encourage your kids to follow your examples in preserving the Earth. Remember to not only do these things, but also talk about why these Earth-saving practices are important. Kids will follow in your footsteps once they understand the value in what they're doing.
3 Ways to celebrate Earth Day with your family >>>
It's our responsibility to help kids become aware of the environmental fragility of this planet. Whenever possible, use various means to teach kids about ecology and species extinction. Help them to understand that what they do can make a difference. Look for teaching opportunities through the following:
Most of all – TALK ABOUT IT! Discussions about the ecology at the dinner table or in the car will let kids know this is a topic important to you. For this reason, it will become important to them too.
More ways to live an eco-friendly lifestyle >>>
Take advantage of the many family volunteer opportunities that stress the importance of giving back to the community and our planet. Family volunteer projects create valuable bonding time and, at the same time, teach kids about environmental concerns. Some activities to consider are:
"We are the next generation. This is our only Earth, our only home. We need to preserve as much as we can so the next generation has something to come to."
- Devlin Peterson, 7th grader, Arizona
Earth Day is only one day a year. Saving our planet for Devlin Peterson, our own kids, and future generations, is a full time job. Let's start by teaching kids the significance of the April 22nd Earth Day, and then rolling up our sleeves and getting to work!
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