We celebrate Earth Day every year on April 22. Many schools, families, and community groups organize events this month to coincide with the holiday. It’s a great time for parents to help kids become aware of their impact on the environment.

But don’t limit celebrating Mother Nature to one month or one day. Check out this list of eco-friendly activities, habits, and ideas to do throughout the entire year.  

1. Recycle

If your town, city or neighborhood doesn’t operate a recycling program, inquire about private companies that will pick up your recyclable materials on a regular basis.

2. Shop With Reusable Totes

Purchase plain totes, fabric markers, and paints and stickers to make a fun craft project with the kids.

3. Reuse Household Items

Check out crafts for which toilet paper and paper towel rolls can be used.  Transform a milk jug into a bird feeder by cutting the side and filling it with birdseed. Cut holes in plastic cup bottoms and use them for planting flowers.

4. Plant a Garden

Include vegetables, flowers – either one or both. Container gardens count too!

5. Organize an Earth-Friendly Scavenger Hunt

Make a checklist of items for your kids and their friends to find in the backyard. Pine cones, flowers, different leaves, bugs, and rocks of all shapes and sizes.

6. Pick Up Trash

Anywhere in the neighborhood, on school grounds, or the local playground.

7. Get Thrifty

Visit consignment shops for clothing and household items – another version of reuse and recycle.

8. Start a Compost Bin

9. Shop Farmers Markets

If farmers markets aren’t easily accessible, look for local foods at your grocery store that have traveled the least distance to get there.

10. Turn Off and Unplug Devices

Don’t just unplug your tablet or smart phone from its charger cord, unplug the cord from the wall. Unplug appliances that don’t need to continually run (coffee pots and toasters for example).

11. Save Water

Take shorter showers, turn faucets off when brushing teeth, and only wash full laundry loads.

12. Donate Books and Toys

13. Look for Games That Focus on the Environment

Kids enjoy their gadgets. Rather than constantly pitting the environment and electronics against each other, look for games with an eco-friendly spin.

14. Get Outside

Children will be more inclined to care about the Earth if they interact with it.

15. Turn Your Yard Into a Welcoming Wildlife Habitat

Plant native plants and flowers, hang bird feeders, and set up birdbaths. Create living spaces that other animals will find inviting.

16. Pack Lunches in Reusable Containers

Less plastic bags mean smaller landfills.

17. Don’t Scrap the Scrap Paper Just Yet

Can you use it for writing grocery lists or can the kids use it for other crafts and activities?

18. Set an Example

Kids learn so much by observing you. If you practice eco-friendly habits, they’ll be more inclined to copy.

Pausing every April to celebrate Earth Day is important. Just as important is taking the eco-friendly habits you hear about – including the ones mentioned above – and practicing them all year long.