Extra Eco-friendly Things to Do this Earth Day
The future of our planet belongs to our pupils, making it more important than ever to educate and inspire them about climate action. As all educators know, children are often some of the most passionate and determined environmental campaigners! Earth Day provides you with the perfect opportunity to explore the science behind climate change, consider its impacts across the world and think about the little things you and your learners can do to make a difference.
What is Earth Day?
Taking place each year on the 22nd April, Earth Day was founded in the United States in 1970 by the activist, John McConnell. The first Earth Day demonstrations involved around 20 million people, making it one of the largest protests in all of history! Today, Earth Day is celebrated by over a billion people all over the world. This year’s theme is ‘Invest in Our Planet’, calling upon businesses, governments and citizens to act together in partnership to protect and preserve the environment.
What can we do this Earth Day?
To make this Earth Day more engaging than ever, we’ve created a list of exciting ideas and opportunities for you to try with your learners.
1. Get planting! Whether you’re planting trees, flowers or even vegetables, this activity will help to reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere and promote a real appreciation for nature, as well as improving the biodiversity of your school environment. This is also a great chance to make links with learning about plants in Science. Check out Nicky Waller’s Year 1 and Year 3 WOW lessons on the topic and watch our ‘Upcycled Plastic Bottle Terrarium’ video for even more inspiration!
2. Recycle old and unwanted classroom materials. Instead of grabbing new paper, why not find a creative way to use up the discarded paper in your classroom’s recycling bin? Another easy idea is to ask pupils to bring in bits of rubbish from home for a super junk modelling activity! This could simply be items like cereal boxes, toilet roll tubes and bottle lids. Emily Gopaul’s wonderful WOW lesson entitled ‘KS1 Big Art Question: Can Rubbish Be Art?’ delves into more detail about sculptures made from rubbish.
3. Learn about the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 13: Climate Action. These objectives were drawn up in 2015 with a target of completion by 2030. Challenge learners to consider how your class or even your whole school could make a positive impact towards combatting climate change! The WWF’s Schools Sustainability Guide is full of countless proactive steps you can take to enhance the eco-conscious ethos of your school.
4. Take a trip to an Earth Day themed event! As Earth Day falls on a Saturday this year, it’s a great idea to let parents and carers know about any celebrations that might be taking place in your local area. The interactive Earth Day Events map displays a huge array of available events all over the world. Some of our favourite choices include The Big Weekender: Earth Day at Manchester Museum and World Earth Day at Tatton Park in Cheshire.