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Sunday, April 10, 2016

Do You Celebrate the Earth?

Believe it or not, I can still remember the very first Earth Day celebration in 1970.  It was a beautiful day (even in the Northeast) and people were mellow (well, it was the 70’s) all throughout the city’s huge park system.  There were speakers and there was music, and lots of people focused on saving the environment.  In fact, right there in Philadelphia, it was decided to dedicate not a single day, but an entire week, to the environment.  We were the only city to do so, but everyone celebrated Earth Day.
(Trivia time: While I don’t remember this, the entire cast of the musical Hair did an impromptu performance at the Independence Mall.)
Earth Day was designed as a national teach-in dedicated to saving the environment.  According to historical sites more than 20 million Americans took part in massive events from coast to coast. It was a rare day when political party lines blurred and everyone had the same objective.  20 years later the event became global, with more than 200 million people participating.
Now, we all focus on recycling every day.  In fact, at one of the high schools I consult to, the Special Day Class students run a recycling program at the school.  All throughout campus are specially painted trash cans for recyclables.  The students in this class collect and sort them, then take a trip out into the community to the recycling center.  The money they make helps to pay for field trips for the students, who are learning community life skills.

You don’t need to collect your schools cans and bottles to teach kids what and how to recycle.  You can simulate the experience with only a few of each type of recyclable, remind students to put papers, cans, and bottles in separate bins.  Or, you can use my Earth Day Recycle Life Skills resource, which provides you with specially marked boxes you can quickly put together and pictures of items to sort. (It also includes a game to play.)
Here is one of the boxes for free, to get you started.
Keep the Earth clean and healthy, and Keep on Talking!


  1. What a great activity! Thanks for the freebie!

  2. You're welcome. It's a great place to start - or continue - talking about why we recycle and what things can be recycled.