April 22, 1970, marked the first Earth Day where 20 million Americans rallied for a healthy, sustainable environment. By the end of that year the Environmental Protection Agency was created and the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts were passed. In 1990, the movement went global. Over 200 million people in 141 countries raised awareness for environmental issues and pushed recycling efforts.
The 46th Annual Earth Day is on Friday, April 22nd this year, and is the perfect opportunity to spend time as a family while focusing on sustainability to protect the environment. Here are just a few activities you can do to celebrate Earth Day:
- Visit a local farmer’s market. Shopping for locally grown foods reduces your carbon footprint and encourages healthy eating.
- Cook as a family, skipping meat for the day. The meat industry generates 1/5 of man-made greenhouse gas emissions. See this month’s Healthy Recipe of the Month for a simple and fun meal to use on Earth Day.
- Participate in an Earth Day event:
April 11: KPBS Kids Workshop: Lorax. Learn about the Be Water Wise: Conservation Challenge, discover tips on how to make earth-friendly changes at home, and hang out with a costumed character. Presentation times: 10:00am & 11:00am. Free with museum admission. $6. To register: email firstname.lastname@example.org. Location: San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum, 320 N. Broadway, Escondido. www.sdcdm.org.
April 18: Ladybug Day at San Diego Botanic Garden. Kids join docent-guided ladybug search teams through the garden and learn about ladybugs and other insects. Also, live entertainment by Clint Perry and the Boo Hoo Crew, a ladybug release, crafts and worm composting. 10:00am-12:30pm. Free with admission; nominal fee for some crafts. $8-$14. Location: 230 Quail Gardens Dr., Encinitas. www.sdbgarden.org.
April 17: EarthFair at Balboa Park. Celebrate Mother Nature at the world’s largest free environmental fair that boasts more than 300 exhibitors, Children’s Earth Day Parade, the eARTh Gallery art show, a children’s activity area, five stages of entertainment and more. 10 am-5 pm. www.earthdayweb.org/EarthFair.html.
April 25: Go Green & Clean Family Day at Otay Ranch Town Center. Join activities that promote active lifestyles, environmental stewardship and healthy families. 9:30 am-2 pm. Free admission. 2015 Birch Rd., Chula Vista.
April 26: Earth Day on the Bay. Interactive exhibits and activities, marine wildlife, food vendors, bay cruises ($5) and more. 10 am-4 pm. Free admission. Maritime Museum of San Diego, 1492 N. Harbor Dr., downtown San Diego. www.sdmaritime.org/earth-day-on-the-bay.
There are also year-round activities to enjoy throughout San Diego County to enjoy:
The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch. Marvel at 50 acres of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers and enjoy attractions such as antique tractor wagon rides, a sweet pea maze, a cymbidium orchid greenhouse and more. Through May 10, 9 am-6 pm. Admission: $6-$12; ages 2 & under free. Location: 5704 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad. www.theflowerfields.com.
Kid-Friendly Nature Hikes include fun facts and tales. Saturdays, Sundays & Wednesdays, 9:30-11:00am. Free. Location: Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor Center, One Father Junipero Serra Trail, San Carlos. 619-668-3281.
Native Plant Gardens at Living Coast Discovery Center. Visit the gardens and get ideas for low-water plants for your yard. Also, stop by the Composting Demonstration Garden to learn about less toxic garden care. Open daily, 10:00am-5:00pm. $9-$14; ages 3 & under free. Location: 1000 Gunpowder Point Dr., Chula Vista. www.thelivingcoast.org; 619-409-5900.
- Do a craft project:Toilet Paper (or Paper Towel) Roll Bird Feeder
Spread peanut butter on toilet paper rolls, roll them in bird seeds, and then hang them from a tree branch for the birds to enjoy! This cute and simple toilet paper roll project is sure to delight your children when they see their project come to life!
Visit www.earthday.org/takeaction for more ideas on how to celebrate Earth Day and do your part all year long.