Child Care

Happy Earth Day

45 years ago today, April 22, more than 20 million Americans took part in the very first Earth Day celebration.  In parks, streets, and auditoriums people demonstrated for a healthy sustainable environment.  That first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. 


On that first Earth Day, I marched with the students at SUNY Geneseo through the streets of town.  Now I’ve dated myself.  Even worse, I was an “outside agitator” as I didn’t attend Geneseo at the time, but was a freshman at Elmira College!  I was simply visiting some friends on campus that weekend, with no idea that I was going to have the opportunity to be a part of what would become an international movement.  It’s the only protest march I ever participated in, but being a part of that was something I will never forget.  We didn’t expect the crowds that marched, or the many people that watched from the sidewalks.  We certainly didn’t expect the news cameras and reporters.  For a small town girl, it was a pretty exciting evening!


Now, 45 years later, I’m still celebrating Earth Day each April 22, but I’ve also tried to do my best to keep “Earth Day – everyday.”  As a caregiver for young children I always try to emphasize good stewardship of the gifts God has given us, including this beautiful planet.  At PromiseLand, individual classrooms will do projects, the Pre-K class has created a bulletin board display for our Parents’ Board, and we will all enjoy “dirt cups” for afternoon snack.  You haven’t lived until you’ve eaten chocolate pudding sprinkled with crushed Oreo cookies, complete with gummi worms!


You and your family can celebrate “Earth Day – Everyday” by creating an Earth Day jar together.  All it takes is a clean empty mason type jar, scissors, pen, and scrap paper.  Use the scrap paper (recycle – reduce – reuse!), to write ideas of projects your family can do on a weekly or monthly basis that will help the earth.  Write each idea on a slip of paper and put the papers in the jar.  Have your children decorate a scrap of paper to label your jar, then choose a piece of paper each week or each month and do the project!  Some examples of what you could put in your jar include:  plant a tree, volunteer at a recycling event, appoint a “watt watcher” to make sure lights and devices are turned off when not in use, plant a vegetable garden, pick up trash in your neighborhood, or join a conservation group or program in your area.


However you choose to mark the day, take the time to smell a flower or wave to a bird flying by.  And remember, that this world is a gift that we need to care for, and then pass on to our children.

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