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Parent Newsletter: Current special day!
• Earth Day!
If the water’s clean enough in all your lakes and rivers for swimming, say thank you to the founders of
Earth Day, who in 1970 created what we now know as the environmental movement, the emphasis on
ecology, and such environmental legislation as the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts.
April 22, which is Earth Day, and the weekends before and after it, are a great time to participate in
environmental education activities—or maybe even organize your own! Here’s a few ideas for helping
out Mother Nature, and having fun, too.
• Invite relatives, friends, neighbors and schoolmates to join you in a beach or trail clean-up walk
or a graffiti paint-out. Celebrate afterwards with a potluck picnic.
• Make Earth Day resolutions by writing pledges on a giant sheet of paper or on leaf-shaped
paper cutouts that you use to “leaf out” a bare branch. You might pledge to turn off the lights
every time you leave a room or turn off the water when you’re brushing your teeth.
• Organize an “earth-smart” quiz game, with questions appropriate to the age of your participants.
Young children can be asked how they can reduce automobile emissions (walk, bike, carpool,
drive hybrid vehicles) and protect fish habitat (provide shade, avoid pouring contaminants into
storm drains) while high school students might get questions such as: What percentage of
greenhouse gas emissions is from cars and light trucks?
• Plant trees and flowers appropriate for your area in parking strips, traffic medians and traffic
• Host a plant swap where community members can donate or trade unwanted seedlings from
• Organize a compost drive if there’s a community garden in your area with a compost pile or
worm bin. You could all meet at the garden entrance and parade through the plots with your
coffee grounds and vegetable peelings before tossing them into the compost!
• Ask your local parks department if it would like volunteers to yank out invasive species such as
• Work with your garbage service for a hazardous waste collection where paint, solvents, used
auto products like motor oil and batteries can be dropped off by people in your community and
then removed by the commercial refuse collectors. Because of the risks involved, volunteers
may do the organizing and publicizing, and let the professionals do all the handling of the
• Sponsor a dirty sock contest! Ask each participant to bring a clean white tube sock. To show
what cars emit into the air, have each driver cover the car exhaust with the sock and then run the
engine for 30 seconds. Ideally, you’ll be able to award an engine tune-up gift certificate to the
owner of the dirtiest sock!