8 Fun Earth Day Projects Every Parent Can Use to Teach Godly Stewardship
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).
In the first verses of the first book of the Bible, we see how God lovingly created the earth and everything that lives on it, from plants to animals to people. After He was finished, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).
It can be easy to take the incredible gift of God’s creation for granted. It is even easier to forget to be thankful and mindful. While Earth Day is a secular holiday, it is a perfect opportunity to take the time to appreciate God’s gift, to teach our children about creation, and to consider how we can be mindful of and live in a way that helps to conserve the beauty and wonder of creation.
As you teach your children about the wonder of God’s creation, here are eight Earth Day projects that can direct your activities:
Find an Earth Day craft. If you like to celebrate holidays by making decorations for your house, take a look at these 40 crafts, which make perfect Earth Day projects for younger children. While your children are crafting images of globes, take the time to tell them the story of creation.
Plant a tree. If you have a yard or community garden, Earth Day is the perfect opportunity to plant a young tree, which can be purchased at local tree nurseries. Alternatively, it doesn’t have to be a tree. Earth Day is in the spring, so why not take a day to work in the garden together? Genesis 2:15 says that God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. Teach your children to care for living plants and work the earth.
Calculate your carbon footprint. All of us have an impact on the environment. By calculating your carbon footprint you can see just how much of an impact you have and how it compares to that of others. We recommend that you and your child look over the different areas that contribute to your carbon footprint and come up with ways to reduce it. It might surprise you how much of a difference small things can make.
DIY a cloth shopping bag. While some grocery stores give out free reusable shopping bags on Earth Day, making a cloth tote with your child is the perfect Earth Day Project. Designs for cloth totes range from designs that require no sewing, to only slightly more complicated designs, many of which reuse old t-shirts. These Earth Day projects are fun and easy, and can also be given away as gifts.
Make a plan to walk and cycle more. Now that the weather is getting nicer, find modes of transportation other than by car. If your area allows it, find safe bike and walking routes for yourself and your child. It may take a little bit longer to reach your destination, but you will see the positive results in your child’s consciousness of green transportation and the health benefits that come from regular physical activity.
Find out how to recycle in your area. We all know that waste disposal is becoming an ever-increasing problem and that improperly dumped waste is destroying the environment. Following good recycling practices can cut down on the trash that goes into landfills. As one of your Earth Day projects, teach your child about recycling, and make sure you have the proper recycling bins available at your house. Initially it can seem like a hassle, but once it becomes part of your routine, you won’t even notice, and your family will be helping to keep our planet healthy and beautiful.
Learn more about upcycling. Upcycling is recycling’s trendier cousin. It involves taking otherwise useless trash items and turning them into something new. The use of mason jars in home decorations is a prime example of upcycling. Have you ever seen a pair of earrings made out of old coins or a messenger bag sewn out of bicycle tires? Far from looking like trash, these items are useful, beautiful, and functional.
Educate your child about designed obsolescence. Did you know that many companies deliberately manufacture their products so that they will break after a short period of time? This may sound like a conspiracy theory, but it isn’t even a secret. Story of Stuff explains in simple terms why it is to a company’s advantage to produce items that will need to be replaced. Designed obsolescence is one of the main contributors to pollution and waste, and learning about it is the first step to making a difference.
“The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth; you founded the world and all that is in it” (Psalm 89:11).
God gave man dominion over his creation (Genesis 1:26). He gave us the right to rule over earth, but it is important not to forget that the earth is His. He looked at it and saw that it was good - all of it. For us this means that we need to be mindful of caring for his creation, and do our best preserve its beauty and health.
When Jesus’ disciples wanted to quiet the cheering crowds on Palm Sunday, He told them, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out” (Luke 19:40). It is not just people who are made to worship God. As you teach your children through these Earth Day projects, remind them that all creation praises God.