Enviro-friendly events for your family
Enviro-friendly events for your family
With the impacts of climate change being felt around the globe and the human population nudging 7.8 billion, it’s important that we educate our children about the environment and take practical steps to lead more sustainable lives.
By doing things like walking to child care instead of driving, up-cycling toys and donating to the World Wildlife Fund, we can show youngsters how to make good choices and care for Mother Earth.
There are also lots of family-friendly events that involve rubbish collecting, tree-planting and other hands-on activities to help the planet and educate your child along the way.
School Clean Up Day, on Friday, 28 February, and Clean Up Australia Day, on Sunday, 1 March, are two events that both young and old can participate in, so let’s see what they are and how to get involved.
What is Clean Up Australia Day?
This annual event sees families, friends, community groups, individuals and all kinds of Australians working together to clean up local beaches, parks, bushland, rivers, shared outdoor areas and any other places that need a little love.
To take part, you can either join a Clean Up event happening in your area, or choose a new place to work your rubbish-collecting magic.
To create your own Clean Up event, all you need to do is register the event, then wait for your starter kit to arrive (allow about two weeks for this). The kit contains the information and materials you need to make a difference at your site (e.g. garbage/recycling clean up bags and gloves).
Aside from clearing lots of rubbish from our beautiful country, Clean Up Australia Day is a chance to bond as a family (and as a community), learn about different types of rubbish and show your child the impact of littering.
If you’re busy on 1 March, then don’t worry. The Every Day Clean Up means you can ‘step up to clean up’ on any day of the year. Just register your Clean Up event and get those gloves on!
What does School Clean Up Day involve?
School Clean Up Day provides an opportunity for children aged 12 and under to join Clean Up events around the country and gain first-hand experience caring for the environment.
Last year, more than 2,240 preschools and primary schools took part, and this event teaches kids how to responsibly dispose of rubbish and recover resources that can be recycled. Children see how dumped rubbish affects the local environment and educators can extend kids’ enviro education with online learning resources.
Teens can take part in Clean Up events through the Youth program, and in 2019, more than 1,193 high schools and youth groups took part in Youth Clean Up Day (which runs from 28 February to 1 March this year).
Clean Up Australia has become Australia’s largest community-based environmental event, and more than 365,000 ute loads of rubbish have been collected since 1989, so let’s add to that figure and inspire a whole new generation to care about cleaning up.
What other Earth-friendly events are coming up?
2020 is a big year for environmental initiatives and there are lots of ways that your family can think globally, act locally and be a force for good.
Here are some key campaigns to take note of in 2020:
- World Water Day - on 22 March and this year’s campaign is focused on water and climate change.
- Earth Hour - where thousands of people, and landmarks, switch off their lights on 28 March. 22 April marks the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day and this milestone is being celebrated with five global campaigns:
- EARTHRISE - which will see all ages taking to the streets to call for climate action.
- The Great Global Cleanup - which aims to remove billions of pieces of rubbish from the planet.
- Earth Challenge 2020 - a massive citizen science initiative that will show how small acts of science can add up to global change.
- Foodprints for the Future - which aims to make our food system more sustainable for the planet and accessible for all.
- Artists for the Earth - which will see musicians, actors, writers, photographers and other creatives using ‘the power of their art to express our common humanity’ and highlight environmental challenges.
- World Environment Day - a United Nations event that’s held on 5 June each year, bringing the global population together to raise awareness and encourage action on a pressing environmental issue, and past themes have included #BeatAirPollution and #BeatPlasticPollution.
- World Oceans Day - shifts the focus from land to sea on 8 June and celebrates our blue planet’s oceans.
- Schools Tree Day, on 31 July and National Tree Day, on 2 August, are two great opportunities for Australians to get outdoors, give back to the community and help plant a million native trees and shrubs.
- Keep Australia Beautiful Week is happening from 17 to 23 August and it raises awareness about the easy things we can do to reduce our impact on Earth and encourage environmental action.
- Clean Up the World Weekend is a global effort to combat waste and plastic pollution, and this event is scheduled for 18 to 20 September. As with Clean Up Australia Day, you can register your own activity or volunteer for someone else’s, so get ready for some tree planting, beach cleaning or awareness raising later in the year.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are many ways to live more sustainably, support good causes and educate our children about the environment.
Whether we join up with family, friends or a worldwide community, let’s celebrate our precious planet and take positive action in 2020 and beyond.
This child care article was last reviewed or updated on Monday, 24 February 2020
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