Celebrating Earth Day is an opportunity to teach today’s youth about our planet and how to protect it. Raise awareness in your program by sharing ways we can help preserve our environment, whether it’s at home, at school, or in the community as a whole. By encouraging kids to make a difference and respect the world we live in, we can help build a better future.
Planting Pine Trees
Plan an event for Eath Day with your group where you plant small pine trees around your organization or in the community. Discuss the benefits these trees provide to Mother Nature, and the importance of being a part of that growth process. If each student or group member understands how something so simple as planting a tree can make a difference, it will encourage them to learn more ways to give back to the community and protect our planet.
Earth Day is a great opportunity to combine Environmental Awareness with STEM. For an educational STEM lesson, you may decide to grow your own pine tree plant from seeds using our Pine Tree Planters Craft Kit. With this hands on learning experience, your group can learn and identify the growth and development process of a seed from a plant. They will be able to identify the key elements a seed needs to thrive; soil, water, and sunlight.
Benefits of Pine Trees to the Environment
Pine trees fir trees, and other close relatives provide numerous benefits to the enviroment and surrounding wildlife. The dense foliage of these trees provides shade and a habitat for birds and small animals. They also produce seeds from their cones that contain nutrients for the wildlife. Scientists have also discovered that the aromatic particles released by pine trees have the potentional to help limit global warming.
Facts about Deforestation
- An estimate of between 3.5 billion and 7 billion trees are cut down each year
- Desctruction of the forest affects several species of wildlife. 80% of the Earth’s land animals and plants live in forests.
- Our forests absorb carbon released into the atmosphere from fossil fuels. Deforestation causes that carbon to get released back into the air.
- 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from deforestation.
- It is estimated that within 100 years there will be no rainforests.
To add even more meaning to this Earth Day themed activity, teach your group about the importance of recycling. Collect several water jugs and/or milk jugs to use as watering cans after planing your pine trees. This is a great way to teach your group how they can use everyday items to create a useful, recycled tool.
DIY Recycled Watering Can
To make the holes in the top of the jug, you’ll need a large needle and a lighter. Use the lighter to heat the needle (safety first – use gloves or protection so you don’t burn your hands) and poke it though the lid from the inside out. Heat the needle for each new hole. Thanks to One Creative Mommy for sharing this idea.
Facts about Recycling
- Recycling not only helps the environment, but also the economy, sustainable manufacturing, and it keeps our oceans cleaner.
- Recycling significantly reduces use of fossil fuel energy and reduces CO2 emissions
- The U.S. recycles less than 22% of its discarded materials, and have not improved within the past 20 years
- Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour.
- If the U.S. recycling levels reach 75%, this will generate 1.5 million new jobs
With this activity, not only are you re-using materials, you are also showing the importance of maintaining something you have planted. Make sure you revisit the pine trees that were planted to keep track of their growth process. Your group will be able to see a seed or small plant grow into a huge tree that could live for 100 years. Keep a chart with measurements of how tall it has grown each month. Having a visual and documenting the time it takes for these trees to grow will also put into perspective the damage of deforestation.
Additonal Earth Day Ideas
For more educational Earth Day resources, view our blog on Meaningful Earth Day Activities for After School to learn about the following ideas:
- A Relay Race for Mother Earth
- Save the Animals
- I Care for the Earth – community cleanup
- Recyled Paper Crafts
Let us know what you are doing to make a difference for Earth Day and everyday in your program!