Earth Day 2015 – it’s our turn to lead
April 22 is Earth Day, a day to celebrate the Earth and re-commit ourselves to taking care of the Earth and making the world a better, healthier place. The theme of this year’s Earth Day event is “It’s Our Turn to Lead” – so that world leaders can follow by example.
There are many ways, big and small, that we can celebrate the Earth – whether you pledge to conserve energy, buy local produce, or start composting at home… volunteer for a beach clean-up or drive less in your neighborhood… recycle e-waste, stop using disposable plastic, or combine capitalism with community service at work. But one of the most powerful ways we can help the Earth is to teach our children to be good stewards of the Earth.
Last year, my son brought home a bag of cleaned “trash” – including plastic take-out bowls, a plastic cat foot container, and a spoon. His second grade assignment was to create something out of recyclable materials. I added some empty tissue boxes, bottle caps, and toilet paper rolls, and he turned it into a 17” tall robot he named Mr. Roboto (no relation to Styx’s “Mr. Roboto”).
This year, we’re celebrating Earth Day with recycled crayons. Instead of throwing them away, we took my son’s broken crayons, melted them down in a craft oven, and created crayon “bricks” to give to his classmates. By combining two or three colors, we created interesting marble-like effects.
If you would like to encourage children to get involved with taking care of the Earth, the County of Hawaii has links to free classroom lesson plans, including an Earth Day curriculum.
Here are some of the upcoming Earth Day events being held in Hawaii:
* On April 22, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Earth Day at Campus Center, 10:00am-4:00pm. From carbon offsets through tree planting to the plant-based selection of grinds, the 2015 UHM Earth Day Festival will try to minimize its footprint as much as possible.
* On April 25, 7:30 am to noon, celebrate Earth Day Hawaii with a Mauka to Makai Cleanup at Kualoa Ranch on Oahu with Adopt-a-Beach Hawaii. Throughout 2014, they cleaned up 110 miles of Oahu shoreline and collected 13,955 pounds of trash!
* On April 25, join the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) and Sustainable Coastlines for a Mauka to Makai Cleanup at Kailua Beach Park. This is part of Hōkūleʻa’s “Birthday to Earth Day” campaign.
* On April 25, 9 am to 3 pm, visit the Grow Hawaiian Festival at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu. Learn about Native Hawaiian plants and how you can help protect our island environment. Admission is free with valid kama’aina and military ID.
* On April 25, 7:30 am to noon, help cleanup debris with Manoa-Kanewai Adopt-a-Stream at Manoa Stream in Manoa, Oahu, from Kanewai Park to Waialae Avenue, hosted by Mercy Worldwide.
* On April 25, 9 am to noon, get involved with the Kawa Adopt-a-Stream at Kawa Stream in Kaneohe, Oahu with the City and College for Every Student Club at Castle High School.
How will you celebrate Earth Day? What can you do to champion the Earth?