Many cities throughout Orange County are hosting some kind of Earth Day celebration this Sunday, April 22nd. You can see a complete list at this website (which I also included in my OC Moms Guide to April events post).
Here are highlights of just some of the fun and eco friendly activities happening around Orange County this weekend. Many are free. I’ve also included ideas for other ways you can honor Earth Day at home and on your own schedule!
From their website: “Visit Ocean Institute on Earth Day weekend, April 21 and 22, to learn why insects are essential to keeping our oceans and beaches healthy. Join us for a comparative anatomy lab of shrimp and grasshoppers, make your own bug box, discover why bees are key, and more. In addition to our activities above, visitors can participate in a special workshop where they will create their own plastic-free Butterfly Feeder to take home. Pre-registration is required, and space is limited. Workshops will be held on both Saturday, April 21 and Sunday, April 22 at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm. Workshops will last approximately one hour.”
They’re also hosting organized beach clean ups both mornings at 10am.
All weekend long, the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana will be celebrating Earth Day at the Cube. From their website: “…find out how small changes at home can make a BIG impact for our Earth. Come learn about becoming an environmental steward through an exploration of the Eco Challenge exhibits, special presentations inside the Planetary Research Station, and a race to sort waste into the right bin. Then, learn how you can become a Green Superhero at home with the new “It’s Easy Being Green” and the “Minute to Win It” stage show! Plus, all weekend long many of our eco-friendly partners will be at the Cube. On Sunday, join us for a complimentary movie on our giant screen: MacGillivray Freeman’s Humpback Whales.” Lots of great ways to educate your kids on the importance of caring for our planet!
Crystal Cove on the Newport Coast is having a massive morning clean-up event on the Saturday (April 21st) before Earth Day. Here you can help care for the public spaces we all enjoy by gardening, painting, doing trash pick up, and more. This event may be more geared towards older children and adults as it doesn’t appear to have any child-specific activities. However, even toddlers love pulling weeds and being out in nature, so may be welcome to join too. Volunteers are required to register and bring their own gloves: www.calparks.org/help/earth-day.
From their website: “On Earth Day we need you to take a stand so that together, we can show the world a new direction – to think about how we can protect our planet and preserve it for the future. Environmental partners will be on hand to show you what you can do. Booths will feature family friendly activities including arts and craft, science discovery, and educational infomation. There will be a scavenger hunt with small prizes for all participants and entry in larger prize drawings. The day will be filled with live music.”
This fun “town within a warehouse” is celebrating Earth Day all day long with recycling activities, Earth science, and planet-friendly art. If it’s a super hot day, this is a good place to stay cool.
Did you know Habitat for Humanity has physical stores you can shop in? I certainly didn’t. These non-profit brick & mortars offer new/used home furnishings and building materials. Money raised through sales help to fund their construction here in Orange County, so it’s a win-win for everyone. While you can shop there throughout the year, this Earth Day they’ll have a free kids “paint and plant” activity table, e-recycling collection, free seed packet with purchase, and in-store discounts. Locations in both Anaheim and Santa Ana.
DIY Beach Clean Up
If you don’t feel like participating in a group activity, or can’t make one work with your schedule for some reason, do your own beach clean up at your own pace! A couple weeks ago while visiting the Huntington Dog Beach, I came across this neatly laid out pile of plastic that someone had collected and left as a reminder (yes, they came back to clean it up. When I went the next day all remnants were gone and hopefully put in a recycling bin!).
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Spotted on the beach this morning. The plastic bag reads: “1 bag. 2 towers. 30 minutes. Make a difference! #cleanupourplanet“ ?♻️ . . #beachcleanup #noplastic #stopsucking #reducereuserecycle #cleanupouroceans #cleanupourbeaches #savetheplanet #earthday #ecofriendlymama #ecofriendly #ecoconscious #cleanup #beach #huntingtonbeach #greenmovement #beachcleanup #savetheoceanchangetheworld #savetheocean #savetheoceans?
That’s a pretty sobering reminder of where some of our plastic waste is ending up. In addition to keeping our beaches pristine, you get to enjoy a beautiful view of the ocean while you work.
Other way to recognize Earth Day:
If you can’t get out to the beach – or even your local park – to do some clean up, you can always just make a small change to your routine for the day. Go straw-free. Turn off the lights in rooms you’re not using. Spend a few minutes online to learn about what your city’s recycling service can handle (for instance, many can now recycle styrofoam! Or some can only do plastics that are numbered 1-3. Get informed and make sure you are recycling as much as your city can handle!).
There are so many ways to celebrate Earth Day this year. Whether attending a big event, or doing something quietly at home, let’s show this planet some love!