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Most people have spent a lot more time indoors this past year than they would have liked. Now that we are all starting to slowly emerge into the sunlight again, this is the perfect time of year to show our planet all the appreciation it deserves. With that in mind, here are five super easy ways to have fun while making a difference this Earth Day.

1. Family trip

It’s been said that passion starts with education. Instead of just filling up that blue bin this week, load up your recyclables into your vehicle and drive on down to your local recycling center. Seeing the large bins that separate each type of material, physically depositing items into the bins with their own hands, and witnessing the entire community contributing to this effort will leave a lasting impression on your children.

2. Have a contest

Over an entire week or for just one day, have everyone in the family compete to see who can collect the most recyclable items. Old newspapers, plastic packaging, cardboard boxes are all fair game. Just make sure the little ones don’t collect things that are still being used. Also be prepared to reward the winner with an appropriate prize. In our house that would be ice cream.

3. One person’s trash

Many items that are commonly thrown away could be repurposed in creative ways. You can use old paper towel tubes and some paint to make a beautiful pencil holder. Cut the tops of some paper milk cartons and use them to plant some herbs for your kitchen. Gather some large cardboard boxes, some scissors and a paint brush to make an awesome secret fort for your kids. Every little bit of reused trash makes a difference.

4. Paper of plastic? Neither

If you are like our family you have lots of cardboard boxes that either take up space in the garage or get folded into stacks for recycling. The next time you go grocery shopping, take some medium sized boxes cut in half with you. Instead of getting grocery bags, place all of your items into the boxes. Not only will they be easy to carry, but they also won’t spill everywhere while you are driving.

5. Farm fresh

An inordinate amount of trash is produced from the packaging of food. Try visiting a local famer’s market once a week. Even purchasing some vegetables and fruits you would normally buy at a store will reduce a significant amount of waste packaging over time. Oh and a great way to transport all of your farmer’s market loot back home? Those boxes you made in #4.

I hope you and your family will try at least one of the ideas in this list. Let’s all strive to tell the world that we learned something, we had fun, and we made a difference. Happy Earth Day everyone! Don’t forget to share your Earth Day activities with us by posting on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #mothergooseclub.

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