Hooray for Earth Month!

Did you know that April is Earth Month? Woo-hoo!

Photo by Chad Merda

I dare you to run outside and scream, “Thank you, Earth!”


Just think how lucky we are. We have air to breathe. “Thank you, air!”


We have soil to grow plants. “Thank you, dirt!


We have water to drink and keep us clean. “Thank you, water!”


There is so much to be thankful for.


“Thank you, plants!”


“Thank you, animals!"


“Thank you, rocks!”


If you to feel thankful too, you should do these three things:

  1. Celebrate.

  2. Learn something new.

  3. Make a difference.


Celebrate


One of the best ways to celebrate is to get outside and enjoy.


Go for a walk. Run around in your back yard. Or get the whole family together and head to your local forest preserve.


Go slow! Enjoy the sun on your cheeks, the wind in your hair. Look at things with curious and wondrous eyes, like you have never seen them before.


Be silly! Introduce yourself to a tree, and then give it a hug. Write a poem for a flower or rock. Not a poem about it, but a poem you recite aloud and give to it as a gift.


Learn something new


Did you know that the more you know, the more you are able to know? It’s true! There are so many things to discover. Challenge yourself to learn something new about Earth. Here are five ideas.

  1. Learn about a specific living thing, like a fern, a fish or fungus.

  2. Learn about a different habitat, like a prairie, savannah or dune.

  3. Learn about a non-living part of the environment, like the atmosphere, soil or rocks.

  4. Learn about an endangered species and what you can do to help it.

  5. Learn about a behavior you can change to help protect Earth.

Did you know the Forest Preserve District of Will County offers countless opportunities for learning? Read and article online or attend one of our many programs.


Make a difference


You can do so many different things to make a difference. Here are just a few ideas that can have a big impact.


Lunches


Everyone needs to eat lunch. But how do you pack it? And what do you bring it in? A reusable lunch box or bag can make a big difference on the amount of waste produced. Reusable containers for your food are even better.


Take a look at the food you bring and have an honest conversation about it. The No. 1 item found in the garbage during school lunches is perfectly edible food. If you only eat half a sandwich or never eat the fruit, be honest and pack what you know you will eat, or bring the leftovers home to eat later. Changing this habit can also save money.


Water


Did you know that only 1% of all the water on Earth is available for our use? The other 99% is salt water in oceans, frozen in glaciers or so far underground we cannot reach it. That is like having 100 pennies, but only 1 cent you can spend.


There are so many ways you can save water. Take a look at your water use at home. What can you do to use less? Do you turn off the water when you brush your teeth? Can you take a shorter shower? Do you wait to wash clothes or use the dishwasher until you have full loads? Little changes can add up to big savings! Did you know that turning a light off when you leave a room or recycling an item also saves water? It does!


You can find more tips on the Environmental Protection Agency website.


Did you know you can have plants in your yard that are not only beautiful but adapted to our sometimes dry climate? Having these plants in your yard can mean a lot less watering. Plus, planting and caring for a garden is a fun family activity! Attend the Nature Foundation of Will County’s Native Plant Sale on May 18 to learn more about these types of plants and maybe even purchase a few.



Teach


Spread the word! Encourage others to celebrate, learn and make a difference this Earth Month! Share with us how you celebrated Earth Month on Willy’s Facebook page.