Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Enjoying Earth - Earth Day 2009

"So long as the human species inhabits the Earth, proper management of its resources will be the most fundamental issue we face. Our very survival will depend upon whether or not we are able to preserve, protect and defend our environment. We are not free to decide about whether or not our environment "matters." It does matter, apart from any political exigencies. We disregard the needs of our ecosystem at our mortal peril." - Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wis.) [EPA Journal - April 1980]

Today is Earth Day. The first thing you should do today is step outside and marvel at the beauty of nature. Then take a few more steps and do something, anything, to help protect and conserve that precious environment. Those of us who live in Wisconsin can proudly say that our state has been involved in Earth Day celebrations from the beginning. In 1969, Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson came up with the idea for a grassroots campaign to increase awareness of environmental issues and the first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970.

My kids are still pretty young but my preschooler can at least understand the basics of Earth Day. Today, if it is nice, we'll spend some time outdoors looking around at the plants and trees and talking about what we can do as a family to live a greener life. We'll read a few books about gardening, recycling and green living. And, I'll have my daughter fill in this simple TIME For Kids Enjoying Earth printable and ask her what she thinks is beautiful about Earth. What will you do on Earth Day?

If you aren't participating in the TV Turnoff Week, "Share the Earth" with PBS Kids and watch some great Earth Day Specials, including Curious George, Clifford and more.

Plant a tree for every book you read! With Eco-Libris you can balance out your books (and the trees that are cut down to make them) by planting trees in developing countries. We'll be donating to this cause on Earth Day, following Amanda's lead over at A Patchwork of Books.

Useful Earth Day Links, Printables, Booklists:
The Happy Earth Day Coloring and Activities Book [pdf]
Children's Environmental Literature [pdf]- Division of Forestry, WI DNR Earth Day Children's Books List
EPA Environmental Kids Club

Image courtesy of morgueFile