Celebrating Earth Day- From Home!
Today, Earth Day celebrates its 50th anniversary! The movement was formed in 1970 by a then 25-year-old graduate student named Denis Hayes. Earth Day gained national recognition for its mission to enact change to protect the environment and its natural resources. The movement’s main goals are to get people actively involved in conservation efforts, whether that’s through voting for legislation that protects the environment or monitoring and changing your own patterns so that you can shrink your carbon footprint.
It may be hard to get involved or to feel as though you cannot maximize your impact during this time of social distancing, but there are still things you can do from home. You can cut back on your power usage, avoid food waste by cooking only what you’ll eat at a time, or enjoy a day outside, being thankful for the earth we have! Earth Day Live is being held online today so you can learn more about conservation efforts on the official Earth Day website. The site also provides a link to some cool simulators like this one where you can find your foodprint, how much energy is needed to produce your tasty plate of pasta or your favorite cereal.
An important aspect of Earth Day is education. Educating yourself about the changes the earth is going through is an important step to affecting change. You can use the information you’ve learned to inform others and use your voice when the time comes to support conservation policies to help protect our resources. Check out this list of environmentally friendly books you and your kids can enjoy together. We hope you like them as much as we do.
Happy reading and happy Earth Day!
GREAT FOR HATCH READERS (PICTURE BOOKS FOR ALL AGES)
You’re Snug With Me by Chitra Soundar, Poonam Mistry (Illustrator)
At the start of winter, two bear cubs are born, deep in their den in the frozen north. “Mama, what lies beyond here?” they ask. “‘Above us is a land of ice and snow.” “What lies beyond the ice and snow?” they ask. “The ocean, full of ice from long ago.” And as they learn the secrets of the earth and their place in it, Mama Bear whispers, “You’re snug with me.” (Lantana Publishing)
GREAT FOR NEST JR. READERS (7-9 YEARS OLD)
Seeds of Change: Planting a Path to Peace by Jen Johnson, Sonia Sadler (Illustrator)
As a young girl in Kenya, Wangari was taught to respect nature. She grew up loving the land, plants, and animals that surrounded her—from the giant mugumo trees her people, the Kikuyu, revered to the tiny tadpoles that swam in the river. Although most Kenyan girls were not educated, Wangari, curious and hardworking, was allowed to go to school. There, her mind sprouted like a seed. She excelled at science and went on to study in the United States. After returning home, Wangari blazed a trail across Kenya, using her knowledge and compassion to promote the rights of her countrywomen and to help save the land, one tree at a time. (Lee and Low Books)
GREAT FOR NEST READERS (9-12 YEARS OLD)
Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman, Judy Pedersen (Illustrator)
A Vietnamese girl plants six lima beans in a Cleveland vacant lot. Looking down on the immigrant-filled neighborhood, a Romanian woman watches suspiciously. A school janitor gets involved, then a Guatemalan family. Then muscle-bound Curtis, trying to win back Lateesha. Pregnant Maricela. Amir from India. A sense of community sprouts and spreads.
Newbery-winning author Paul Fleischman uses thirteen speakers to bring to life a community garden’s founding and first year. The book’s short length, diverse cast, and suitability for adults as well as children have led it to be used in countless one-book reads in schools and in cities across the country.
Seedfolks has been drawn upon to teach tolerance, read in ESL classes, promoted by urban gardeners, and performed in schools and on stages from South Africa to Broadway.
The book’s many tributaries—from the author’s immigrant grandfather to his adoption of two brothers from Mexico—are detailed in his forthcoming memoir, No Map, Great Trip: A Young Writer’s Road to Page One. (HarperCollins Publishers)
GREAT FOR SOAR READERS (12+ YEARS OLD)
The Eagle Tree by Ned Hayes
Fourteen-year-old March Wong knows everything there is to know about trees. They are his passion and his obsession, even after his recent falls—and despite the state’s threat to take him away from his mother if she can’t keep him from getting hurt. But the young autistic boy cannot resist the captivating pull of the Pacific Northwest’s lush forests just outside his back door. (Amazon Publishing)