Clean Up for Earth Day

Get out and about on your part of the planet and do a little tidying up. Learn about how you are helping the earth's plants and animals. Then, make a book about your experience.

  1. Ages: 3 - 11

  2. 1 hour - 2 hours

  3. A little messy

Step-by-step tutorial

  • Step 1

    I asked my kids if they knew of any place nearby that had a lot of trash where it wasn't supposed to be. Immediately, my oldest son thought of the wooded path where we often ride our bikes or walk. Part of the storm drain system in our neighborhood runs through the woods, carrying with it many bottles, cans, newspapers, and other trash.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 1

  • Step 2

    When we got there, we put on our gloves to protect our hands, grabbed a trash bag, and got to work.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 2

  • Step 3

    It wasn't hard to find a lot of trash. While we picked up, we talked about how the trash had gotten there: littering, blowing away from recycling bins and garbage cans, being swept away from gutters when it rains.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 3

  • Step 4

    We talked about how garbage can hurt animals if they try to eat it or become entangled in something.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 4

  • Step 5

    Before we knew it, we had filled all of our bags. We had all we could carry home but felt as though we only made a small dent. We talked about ways we could make a bigger difference, just for this one patch of woods: visiting more often, bringing more bags and our car to haul it away, making others in our neighborhood aware of how much trash was being carried away in this storm drain.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 5

  • Step 6

    We separated all the things that could be recycled, which filled up two of our three bags!

    Photo reference of how to complete step 6

  • Step 7

    When we got home and disposed of the trash and recycling, we washed up and then sat down to draw and write about our experience. I had made little booklets for each child.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 7

  • Step 8

    My daughter's book began: "My family and I went to the woods. We pickup up a lot of trash."

    Photo reference of how to complete step 8

  • Done!

    Another page: "Don't leave garbage in the woods. The Earth looks pretty without trash." Indeed, it does.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 9

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