Teaching Kids about Earth Day

Kids picking up trash

Each year, Earth Day’s role in sustainability awareness and education grows bigger. Today, Earth Day isn’t just a reminder for us to be green, but an opportunity for us all to teach tomorrow’s leaders about green living.

If you are looking for a way to involve children in this Earth Day celebration, here are five simple ideas to get you started:

  1. Recycle holiday cards
    Start by rewarding the kids that are involved.  The wonderful kids at St. Jude’s Ranch for Children help recycle old greeting cards into new ones.  Anyone can get involved by buying cards from the program, or by donating old cards.  When they receive your old cards, the children at the ranch help transform them into new kid-created cards.  They not only receive payment for their work but learn the value of being green.  And by participating, you can reduce paper consumption and support the ranch’s mission of serving abused or neglected youth.
  2. Books and games
    Scholastic provides a recommended list of children’s books focused on sustainability and many other Earth Day activities for kids.  The Environmental Protection Agency also offers another wonderful list of children’s books, along with information about Superfunds for kids.  And you can also change out the usual game line-up for something that teaches sustainability in a fun way.  The PBS Kids organization offers a great site for green games – from gardening to recycling.
  3. Ecofriendly homes
    Each Earth Day, make it a goal to teach a new way to make your home more environmentally friendly.  SimpleMom.com offers a long list of ways to choose from, and here are three ideas to get you and your family started.
         • Set up a rain water collection for use in watering plants
         • Create a compost area
         • Start a garden or plant a tree
  4. Pledge to Recycle Your Electronic Devices
    The Earth Day Network offers people the chance to pledge to recycle old electronic devices.  Get involved by taking the pledge, and help curb the growth of e-waste in the United States.  Verizon holds recycling events at offices across the country and encourages everyone to bring in no-longer-used electronics gear, phones and supplies for disposal in an environmentally friendly way.
  5. Donate mobile devices
    Teach the value of donating to a good cause.  Not only does donating an old device help keep it out of landfill, but it could help people in need.  For example, Verizon’s HopeLine program recycles and refurbishes no-longer used cell phones and accessories to help survivors and victims of domestic violence. Since 2001, Verizon has collected 9 million no-longer-used wireless phones through the program, keeping the devices out of landfills and turning them into support for domestic violence survivors.  The used gear is collected either by mail via our website, at our retail stores or through community rallies.