Earth Day Book Club

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April 22 is Earth Day. Read The Wump World by Bill Peet and Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney. See how you can make the world a more beautiful place with these environmentally friendly activities. If you like this craft, check out our Cow Seeds - another fun "green" activity.

*Read The Wump World by Bill Peet. What do you think the Wumps should do about their polluted environment? What are some things you can do to help with pollution? What are some causes of pollution? What are some effects of pollution? Compare this story with the movie Wall-E. Do you think this could happen to our planet?
*Read Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney. How does Miss Rumphius accomplish the three things she promised her grandfather? Why do you think that even though she traveled and met wonderful people and lived in a beautiful place, it was still important for her to make the world more beautiful? What are some ways you can make the world more beautiful? What three things would you like to be able to accomplish by the time you are old?

*Start a recycling bin in your home. Find out what items your local dump or recycling center will accept and start collecting them. If recycling is not available in your area, just start a paper recycling bin for used envelopes or paper that can be reused as scrap paper.
*Start a flower and/or vegetable garden. Grow lupines, like Miss Rumphius, or any of your favorite flowers. Bulbs such as irises, gladiola, and lilies are easy to plant and take care of, and will come back year after year. Sunflowers are also a great choice. Find out what vegetables grow best in your area and plant them. Don’t forget to water and weed your garden throughout the spring and summer. Don’t have room for a garden? Take care of plants in your neighborhood. Water a sapling tree in the hot summer or sprinkle wild flower seeds in a field.
*Start a compost bin. Use the compost in your garden.
*Reuse containers at home that can’t be recycled. Use egg cartons to sort small toys or as a paint tray. Use the bottoms of milk cartons or soda bottles to start seeds. Clean out aluminum cans, paint the outside, and use to hold pens and pencils. Break down cardboard boxes and store them to use later for shipping or storage. Decorate a shoe box and use it to hold all your prized possessions. Clean out margarine or cream cheese containers and use to hold leftovers.
*Instead of throwing out toys, clothes, and books that you have outgrown, give them to friends or family who may need them, or donate them to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army.
*Buy things that are reusable instead of disposable. Use a lunchbox or insulated bag instead of a paper bag. Use cloth napkins instead of paper napkins or paper towels. Use plastic containers to hold lunch box items instead of sandwich bags. Use plastic or aluminum water bottles that you refill at home instead of disposable plastic water bottles.
*Turn off the water when you’re not using it. While brushing your teeth, turn off the water until you need it. Turn on the shower just before you are ready to go in. When doing dishes, turn on the water only when you need it, such as for rinsing. Put your sprinklers on a timer so you don’t overwater your garden or waste water. Be sure that your faucets don’t leak and are shut off properly each time. Keep water in a pitcher in the fridge instead of leaving the water on until it gets cold.
*Turn off the lights and shut the doors. Conserve energy by turning off all lights when you leave a room. Be sure the fridge door stays closed. Turn off the TV, radio, and other electronics when not in use. Unplug cell phone chargers, computers, coffee makers, etc. when not in use.
*Pick up trash. Make your home and neighborhood a prettier place by picking up trash whenever you see it and putting it where it belongs. Don’t litter – put trash in the right place each and every time.
*Plan a community or neighborhood clean-up day. Get friends and neighbors to help with things like weeding, planting flowers, painting buildings, homes, or sheds that need a coat of paint, rake leaves, cut back on overgrown bushes and trees, etc.

*Send us a picture of your kids making the world a more beautiful place and we may post it to our site!

Suggested Resources:
*The Environmental Kids Club from the EPA – teaches kids how to Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle.
* – a great site about youth gardens.

This activity can be found in the Holidays, Games & Activities, and Book Club sections of our site.