April 22 is Earth Day, a day all about protecting our environment. While events continue to be affected by COVID, there are still lots of ways to mark the day with your family outside and in your home.
Remember, you and your family can celebrate Earth Day EVERY day by doing just a few easy things that will have a big impact on our planet.
Here are 7 ideas on things your family can do to be better environmental stewards:
1. Meal plan
The average Canadian family throws out $1,100 in wasted food per year, which amounts to 140 kg, according to the National Zero Waste 2017 study. In fact, 63% of the food thrown away could have been eaten. Not only are we wasting resources to grow, produce and distrubute food that never gets eaten, once it becomes waste it has a significant carbon footprint that contributes to Canada's greenhouse gas emissions. Canada’s 2.2 million tonnes of avoidable household food waste is equivalent to 9.8 million tonnes of CO2 and 2.1 million cars on the road!
Simple steps like meal planning, storing food properly, and using leftovers can help your family reduce your food waste. Here's how to create a monthly meal plan that works.
2. Grow your own food
Gardening involves much more than watering plants. Kids can learn math and science skills, responsibility, and will begin to understand how much time, effort, and care farmers put into their jobs. Here are 10 benefits to gardening with kids.
Have an old T-shirt? Turn it into a tote instead of throwing it away. Recycle jars or milk containers into bird feeders. Use egg cartons as a seed starter. Reuse glass and plastic jars to hold things like craft supplies. Reach out in a local Facebook group or a site like Next Door to see if someone will let you borrow a tool or item you only need to use once.
4. Invite worms into your kitchen
No, really. We mean it. Worm composting is a great way to turn scraps into soil and get kids interested in recycling. Here's more about the fun of worm composting.
5. Clean up
Whether it's an organized community event or just your family, head to a local park, nature area, or shoreline to pick up trash. Don't forget to bring work gloves!
6. Commit to using less plastic
As a family, swear off those plastic bottles of water. Always choose a cone when out for ice cream (no more plastic dishes!). Make it a habit to bring reusable shopping bags wherever you go.
7. Plant a tree
Trees provide food and oxygen, and also help save energy, clean the air, and help fight climate change. All that and they're lovely to sit under on a hot day! Plant a tree as a family and watch it grow over the years.