10 Easy, Everyday Things Kids Can Do to Help Save the Planet

Jacqueline Burt Cote | Apr 10, 2017 Big Kid
10 Easy, Everyday Things Kids Can Do to Help Save the Planet
Image: iStock.com/Yarinca

child in nature
iStock.com/Yarinca
When it comes to taking care of the planet, chances are you're already doing a lot on a daily basis: You probably recycle as a family, choose pesticide-free produce when possible, and make sure nobody leaves the lights on or the faucet running. But what else can you do to teach your kids to love the earth -- and what more can you do as a family to really help the environment in an impactful way?

From one-time projects to ongoing efforts, we've found a bunch of ways to inspire and enlighten kids about making our world a cleaner, healthier, happier, and safer place. Earth Day happens once a year, but you can do these any day!

  • Take a Nature Hike

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    kid on hike
    iStock.com/Imgorthand

    Kids care more about the enviroment when they have a relationship with the great outdoors. Help them to explore your local parks, woods, beaches, mountains, and more by taking them on hikes designed to introduce them to the animals and plants in your area -- and be sure to snap a lot of pics!

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  • Visit a Farmers' Market

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    farmers market
    iStock.com/xalanx

    Words like "sustainable" and "local" might not mean much to your kids in the abstract, but a trip to the farmers' market can show them just how much different (and better) organically grown produce from small farms can be. If possible, introduce your children to some of the vendors and ask questions about how and why they grow food the way they do -- and what it means for the planet!

  • Organize a Cleanup Event

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    people picking up trash
    iStock.com/dolgachov

    Whether it's your favorite playground or a nearby shoreline, pick a place that means something to your family and organize a cleanup event in your community. Everyone can pitch in to make a difference. (Don't know your neighbors? You can do this on your own instead!)

  • Make a Solar Oven

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    Show kids how the sun can be a source of sustainable energy by building a solar oven using a pizza box, aluminum foil, and other materials you probably have in the house -- then bake up a batch of s'mores! (Find instructions on how to make a solar oven here.)

  • Make Recycled Masterpieces

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    Why go out and buy art supplies when there's a treasure trove of materials in your recycling bin? From egg cartons to plastic jugs to cardboard boxes and on and on, there are so many ways to turn "garbage" into gold!

  • Feed the Birds

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    Give your feathered friends a springtime snack by making a homemade bird feeder (using ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen!). The one pictured here uses ice cream cones, peanut butter, and bird seed -- but you can find lots more inspiration here.

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  • Plant a Garden

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    kids gardening
    iStock.com/lostinbids

    For an outdoor activity that truly gives back to the planet, plant a garden with your children that they can tend to all year round (well, maybe not in the winter). (Tip: Research which vegetables, fruits, and flowers grow best in your area before you get started!)

  • Go Car-Free

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    kids riding bikes
    iStock.com/ FatCamera

    Take a temporary break from your usual chauffeur duties by going "car free" for a day if possible: Bike, walk, and use public transportation -- and talk about how you're helping to reduce pollution in the process!

  • Decorate Reusable Bags

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    Encourage your family to break the plastic bag habit by decorating reusable totes that you can bring to the grocery store (and other places). Bonus points if you use eco-friendly paints!

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  • Join a Junior Conservationist Program

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    little girl outside in nature
    iStock.com/Yarinca

    National parks, zoos, aquariums, and farms across the country offer junior conservationist/ranger programs where kids can get involved in helping to protect and support local wildlife. Contact your local organizations for info on how your family can take part!

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