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Spring Break Plus Earth Day Equals Fun

With kids home from school, here are ways to spend time together and celebrate Earth Day!

Today is Earth Day, which coincides with for many families in Millburn and Short Hills. 

For parents wanting to celebrate Earth Day in child-friendly ways, here are a few ideas to keep the kids busy while teaching them a thing or two about the planet.  

1.  Take a Bike Hike!  Forget the car! You can run errands while having fun and getting exercise at the same time.  Some possible destinations:  

  • The supermarket.  Don’t forget to bring reusable bags.
  • A drop box.  Make a of something used that can be recycled, such as old cell phones, electronics or clothing.
  • The Hardware store. Buy LED light bulbs to replace less energy-friendly bulbs in your house.
  • The   You can even read a book to celebrate Earth Day, like The Lorax by Dr. Suess for young children or Hoot/Flush/Scat by Carl Hiaasen for middle readers. 

2.  Fun, Kid-Friendly Home Projects.  You can reduce your carbon footprint while inspiring thoughtful discussion at the same time.  Some ideas:

  •  Set up a clothesline in your backyard.  A quaint idea from yesteryear?  Clotheslines save a lot of natural resources!
  • Recycle unused objects into useful and/or .  There are hundreds of websites with good kid-friendly projects you can do at home, such as http://www.kid-at-art.com/  and http://familycrafts.about.com/
  • Take the kids outside and plant something, like vegetables for a summer garden.  
  • Paint an ecology-themed mural on an unused wall or even the driveway.  A rainforest mural, a life-cycle mural or a space mural would be very cool.   
  • Visit the Liberty Science Center’s eco-conscious exhibits, like Our Hudson Home, Energy Quest and Wildlife Challenge.

3.  A Day of Small Steps to Honor the Planet.  Without even changing your daily routine, you can dedicate the day to making a difference in dozens of small, personal ways, such as:  

  • Take a shorter shower, turn off the water when you're brushing your teeth, and water your plants with standing rainwater or old water left in pet bowls.  Every little bit helps, right?
  • Use a laptop instead of a tabletop computer whenever possible.  Laptops use 5 times less energy than regular computers.  
  • Pick up a few pieces of trash as you walk to work or around town.
  • Swing by the dry cleaner and drop off that collection of wire hangers that’s been cluttering up your closet.

These are just a few ideas – there are many more out there too.  So celebrate family and at the same time – in your own way.

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