Do you ever wonder if you’re doing enough to protect Mother Earth? Maybe you recycle your soda cans — but there are still so many more ways you can contribute to the cause. Click on the links below for information, games and quizzes on each topic and to find out how to get involved.
In the meantime, here are a few small ways you can start to make a difference.
- Track down and fix any leaky faucets or toilets in the house. Fixing a silent toilet drip could save up to 500 gallons of water a day.
- Try watering the lawn or the backyard vegetable garden with the minimum amount of water needed.
- Think twice before throwing away that water bottle. You might be able to reuse it. By using a product more than once you will help reduce waste. Try using coffee mugs instead of paper cups or cloth napkins instead of paper ones. Purchase refillable pens and pencils or turn empty jars into containers for leftovers.
- Buy recycled products when possible. The Environmental Protection Agency says there are more than 4,500 recycled-content products available. Some examples of recycled products to look for are: aluminum cans, cereal boxes, egg cartons, paper towels, trash bags, comic books, newspapers, glass containers, laundry detergent bottles, motor oil and even nails.
- If you can get your parents to sign off on it, try composting in the backyard. Composting is the controlled decomposition of organic materials, such as leaves, grass and food scraps. When the items decompose they turn into an earthy-smelling, soil-like substance. Composting can help reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. Check out the EPA web site for a list of materials you should and shouldn’t include in the compost.
- Read the labels on household cans of paint, cleaners, oils, batteries and pesticides to see if they have components that can lead to hazardous waste. Labels that have words like danger, warning, caution, toxic, corrosive, flammable or poison all might contain hazardous materials. One way to reduce the amount of hazardous waste is to give these leftover products to a neighbor or someone else to use. Some communities also have collection programs to prevent household hazardous waste from being dumped in landfills — take advantage of them.
And of course, recycle. If your community doesn’t have a curbside program, try to find a drop-off center where you can deposit your newspapers, glass, plastics and metals.
Guide to Environmental Issues
Basic information on environmental topics, including a glossary of 200 terms.
A list of the major U.S. environmental laws and what they do for us.
Earth Science Enterprise
Learn how NASA studies the Earth’s air, water and weather patterns.
Get information about air pollution in your community and how it can affect your health.
Clear Skies Initiative
In February 2002, President Bush announced the Clear Skies Initiative, an aggressive improvement to the Clean Air Act. Find out all about it.
What is it, what can it do and what is being done about it?
Links to information on ozone depletion.
An interactive game where your choices and various environmental factors impact air pollution. It’s up to you to make it the world a better place!
Recycle City Game
A game that shows you ways a community can reduce, reuse and recycle.
Solid Waste Service-Learning Projects
This booklet highlights student-run environmental projects done across the country.
EPA Guide to Volunteering
The Environmental Protection Agency’s guide on environmental community service details projects on reuse, recycling, composting and household hazardous waste.
In Your Neighborhood
Type in your zip code and get specific environmental information about your neighborhood.
Acid Rain Sourcebook
Activities, information and other things you can do about acid rain.
Adopt Your Watershed
Find out what groups in your area are doing to protect watersheds and how you can help out.
Information about wetlands, their significance, how they’re threatened and what is being done to conserve them.
See images of ecosystems in the United States and learn about the endangered species that live there.
Conservation of Marine Mammals and Endangered Species
Find out what the National Marine Fisheries Service is doing to protect animals that live in the water.
Want more? Get ideas from other students here!
“Earth Day is the best day of the year and I am helping out and having fun by planting trees and picking up trash. Channel One Rocks!!! =)” –Jesse, 14, CA
“Well for my Earth Day I turn off every light in my house. Then I go out side and plant a new tree. After all that I go and hug a tree!” –Penny, 14, VA
“I’m celebrating Earth day by talking to my principal about creating a recycling program for our school.” –Michala, 14, NC
“I have celebrated Earth Day by trying as hard as I can to use non-electric items all day. For example I used the pencil sharpener that doesn’t have to be plugged in.” –Miffy, 11, ME
“I am celebrating Earth Day by picking up as much trash off my road as i can. I believe in celebrating Earth Day because there is only one earth so we might as well protect it and keep it clean! –Payton, 14, PA