It’s our 50th Earth Day and we’ve been watching the reduced carbon emissions while in quarantine.
Perhaps Mother Earth wanted to heal Herself?
I remember being a child growing up in the 1980s and learning about Reduce! Reuse! Recycle! But it never seemed to really catch on. It just wasn’t a dire issue and my county/city didn’t offer weekly service. No one wants to pay for something extra that doesn’t directly affect them.
I want to do better as a family now, but it’s really hard when the eggs come in styrofoam and so many other grocery and takeout items are in lots of unnecessary packaging.
We clear up the trash at our neighborhood ponds and backyard creek regularly. We feed the birds. It seems so little.
Our country is behind many others in earth stewardship. We are vast and huge and populous and no one really seems to care about climate change or protecting the environment.
When we lived in Germany for three years, we separated our waste into refuse, organic, and recycling every week.
We have curbside recycling service every other week now in our suburb of Dayton, Ohio.
But is recycling all we can do?
I want my kids to be better stewards of the Earth since it’s our only home and we must take good care of it for future generations.
Earth Day Unit Study
- Reduce waste
- Try to go plastic free for a period of time. It’s really hard!
- Reading about nature, natural history, environment, climate change, earthjustice
- Clean up trash in your yard, a local park, local waterway
- Feed the birds in your yard
- Go on a nature walk or hike
- Plant native trees, bushes, plants in the yard
- Watch nature documentaries
We did a small focus on female environmentalists:
- Anna Comstock
- Rachel Carson
- Dian Fossey
- Caitlin O’Connell
- Patricia Medici
- Kay Holecamp
- Jane Goodall
- Wangari Maathai
- Isatou Ceesay
- Evelyn Cheesman
- Eugenie Clark
- Katherine Olivia Sessions
- Sylvia Earle
- Greta Thunberg
- Jennifer Mather
- Jenny Graves
- Kimberly Stewart
Tips to celebrate Earth Day from home:
- Get outside. Your backyard is an outdoor living room and safe place for pets and kids to play. Science proves spending time in your family’s yard is good for your health and well-being, and so important today as everyone looks for creative ways to stay well while being confined to the home. Researchers have found that people living in neighborhoods with more birds, shrubs, and trees are less likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and stress.
- Make the outdoors a family project. Take your loved ones outside to assess your space. What’s working well? What could be improved? What can you plan to do together in your backyard? Anything needing to be cleaned up? Make a plan to expand or spruce up your yard.
- Connect kids to nature. The environmental education program resources and activities, based on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) principles, give kids the prompts they need to have fun learning about and exploring the nature and science in their own backyards.
- Know your climate zone. Learn about climate-zone-appropriate plants, the importance of pollinators, and how backyards can support local wildlife. Conduct a plant inventory to determine what’s currently thriving in your backyard. Match that up against the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map to determine the best types of turf, trees, shrubs, and plants for the climate zone.
- Keep pollinators in mind. Your yard is an important part of the connected ecosystem providing much- needed food and shelter for pollinators, such as birds, bees, butterflies, bats, and other creatures. Select a variety of plants that will bloom all year long. The Audubon Society’s database can help determine which birds will be attracted to which plants for unique regions so you can make good choices about what to plant.
- Plant, prune, or mow. Staying confined to home base doesn’t mean gardening and yard work have to stop. Order garden supplies online or have them delivered from a nearby nursery. Mow the lawn and trim bushes. Research shows people who gardened for at least 30 minutes a week had lower body mass indexes (BMIs)—a measure of body fat—as well as higher levels of self-esteem and better moods overall. They also reported lower levels of tension and stress.
- The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
- Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
- Girls Who Looked Under Rocks: The Lives of Six Pioneering Naturalists by Jeannine Atkins
- Heroes of the Environment: True Stories of People Who Are Helping to Protect Our Planet by Harriet Rohmer
- The Table Where Rich People Sit by Byrd Baylor
- Thunder & Lightning by Lauren Redniss
- The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Brian Mealer
- The Bible and Ecology: Rediscovering the Community of Creation by Richard Bauckham
- A People’s Curriculum for the Earth: Teaching About the Environmental Crisis
- The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature by David Suzuki
- How to Read Water by Tristan Gooley
- Unbowed by Wangari Maathai
- Around the World in 80 Trees by Jonathan Drori
- Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness by Dr. Qing Li
- The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin
- Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
- The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin
- Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich
- Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
- The Story of General Dann and Mara’s Daughter, Griot and the Snow Dog by Doris Lessing
- American Primitive and Devotions by Mary Oliver
- Barkskins by Annie Proulx
- The Cost of Living by Arundhati Roy
- Back to the Garden by Clara Hume
- The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
- The End of Nature by Bill McKibben – The first book on climate change!
- An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It and An Inconvenient Sequel by Al Gore
- The Ethics of Climate Change by James Garvey
- The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert
- Junk Raft by Marcus Eriksen
- Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea & of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists & Fools Including the Author Who Went in Search of Them by Donovan Hohn
- Walking the Wrack Line: On Tidal Shifts and What Remains by Barbara Hurd
- Land of Little Rain by Mary Austin
- Under the Sea Wind and Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
- The Everglades: River of Grass by Marjory Stoneman Douglas
- The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan
- Love Letter to the Earth by Thich Nhat Hanh
- Turtle Island by Gary Snyder
- Changes in the Land:Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England by William Cronon
- All Our Relations by Winona LaDuke
- Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
- Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class, and Environmental Quality by Robert D. Bullard
- Trace: Memory, History, Race and the American Landscape by Lauret E. Savoy
- Rooted in the Earth: Reclaiming the African American Environmental Heritage by Dianne D. Glave
- Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors by Carolyn Finney
- Slow Violence and Environmentalism of the Poor by Rob Nixon
- Savage Dreams: A Journey into the Hidden Wars of the American West by Rebecca Solnit
- Cadillac Desert by Marc Reisner
- Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster by Mike Davis
- The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power by David Yergin
- Ill Nature: Rants and Reflections on Humanity and Other Animals: Meditations on Humanity and Other Animals by Joy Williams
- The Control of Nature and Annals of the Former World by John McPhee
- Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez (he’s one of the greats!)
- Wolf Willow: A History, a Story, and a Memory by Wallace Stegner (and all his books!)
- Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard (and all her others!)
- anything by John Muir
- Flight Behavior and everything by Barbara Kingsolver
- Our Only World and all the things by Wendell Berry
- Climate Justice by Mary Robinson
I have been in love with the sky since birth. And when I could fly, I wanted to go higher, to enter space and become a “man of the heights.” During the eight days I spent in space, I realized the mankind needs height primarily to better know our long-suffering Earth, to see what cannot be seen close up. Not just to love her beauty, but also to ensure that we do not bring even the slightest harm to the natural world.Pham Tuan, Vietnamese astronaut
- The Lorax
- Fly Away Home
- Jane’s Journey
- Gorillas in the Mist
- Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
- The Secret of NIMH
- Fox and the Child
- Free Willy
- Whale Rider
- Planet Earth docuseries
- Erin Brockovich
- How to Be Sustainable at Home
- Gardening unit study
- Seeds unit study
- 40 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint by Kyndra Holley
- Global Weirding with Katharine Hayhoe on YouTube
- What a Coronavirus-like Response to Climate Crisis Would Look Like
- 11 Ways to Retrofit your Landscape & Lifestyle With Permaculture Principles
- Sandra Richter – Ecology and the Bible podcast
- Moms Clean Air Force
- We Act for Environmental Justice
- Youth Climate Leaders
- Earth Day Freebies from the Frugal Homeschooling Mom
- Earth Day Activities from Homeschool Scientist
- Earth Day Challenges from iHomeschool Network
- Earth Day Activities from Homeschool.com
- Earth Day Printable from Homeschool Super Freak
- Earth Day Lesson Plan from Homeschool Academy
- Earth Day Activities from Homeschool Curriculum
- Earth Day Lesson Plan from The Homeschool Mom
- Rock Your Homeschool Earth Celebration
- Earth Day Activities from Homeschool Den
- 123 Homeschool 4Me Earth Day Activities
How do you celebrate Earth Day?
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