In honor of Earth Day (April 22) and Arbor Day (April 24) I’ve brought together several great sites that help you and your child do something to help and honor our Mother Earth. There are numerous organizations and manufacturers who dedicate themselves to reducing waste, recycling, and leaving a smaller footprint. Some cost a donation; other only require time. Here are a few of them:
1. GO WILD: Protect the World’s Ocean’s through Oceana’s ADOPT AN ANIMAL Program. If you spend $50.00 on a stuffed sea creature, the money will be used to protect endangered ocean creatures and the habitats they live in. http://www.oceana.org. The WORLD WILDLIFE FUND http://www.worldwildlife.org offers species adoptions for $55.00, which entitles you to a phot, stuffed animal, adoption certificate and gift bag.
2. PLANT A TREE: The Nature Conservancy’s program of Plant a Billion Trees, aims to restore forests around the world from Brazil to China. You can see a map of progress so far and how to donate. http://www.plantabillion.org You can also protect forests in the American West at http://www.americanforests.org
3. RECYCLE FOR A CAUSE: Fight poverty by donating new and gently used shoes to: http://www.soles4souls.org.
Assist victims of domestic violence by passing on old cellphones: http://www.shelteralliance.net
At http://www.greenergadgets.org you can find out what to do with your old cell phones, and electronics so they don’t end up in a landfill. The site also teaches you how to buy green, live green and recycle responsibly.
You can also spare the landfill by donating electronics to local charities at: http://www.donationtown.org
Send used baby clothes to outfit needy infants at: http://www.newbornsinneed.org
4. RAISE A PUPPY: If your child is begging for a puppy but you’re not sure, you can get a feel for what is involved by volunteering to be a puppy raiser for the blind. http://www.guidedogs.com
5. HELP ELEPHANTS: A gift of $30.00 provides the 150-200 pounds of food an elephant requires each day at the Tennessee Elephant Sanctuary, the largest natural habitat for old, sick or needy elephants in the US http://www.elephants.com
6. At http://www.eartheasy.com your child will find dozens of eco-friendly websites with activities, ideas and information on how to help protect the earth, and how to live sustainably.
You can also do things in your own backyard and neighborhood. Plant a tree, start an herb or vegetable garden, go organic when you can to reduce dependence on pesticides. Use less water. Have a day without electricity, where you play games and tell stories by candlelight.
Check out the other Earth Day posts on this blog for more ideas.
Be kinder and gentler to Mother Earth…she’s the only planet we’ve got!