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Green Parents, Green Kids: Celebrating Earth Day Everyday

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Early experiences matter. That’s why getting your children involved in environmentally friendly activities and laying the foundation for sustainable behaviour that will last a lifetime is important to do as early as possible.

With Earth Day just around the corner on April 22, local communities across Canada are putting together events and activities for parents and children to both take advantage of. The activities range from the simple – like encouraging everyone to bring their own lunch in reusable packaging – to making us aware of the more demanding tasks we should (but aren’t) doing – such as recycling products responsibly and making more sustainable choices overall.

Here’s an overview of what’s happening in celebration of our earth across the country

Calgary

In Calgary, parents and tots have the opportunity to do some good in their community, as well as learn a little bit more about what it takes to live a more sustainable lifestyle. The Calgary Public Library is hosting a number of activities this Earth Day that are both informative for parents and fun for kids:

· Head to the Calgary Public Library at lunch time and hear from conservation advocate Kevin Strange from the Calgary Zoo talk on nature, sustainability and conservation.

· Learn from the Library’s displays on the environment, exhibited all day.

· Show your child what it takes to maintain a clean, healthy environment and help clean the pond pathway near Cardel Place.

Halifax

On the East coast, get your family involved with the Nova Scotia Nature Trust: Earth Day Walk for Water on April 22, a campaign raising funds for the Nova Scotia Nature Trust’s aim to protect the province’s outstanding natural legacy (water) through land conservation.

Get your older children, tweens and teens involved by helping them seek pledges from friends and family – showing them that it doesn’t take much to support a good cause!

Montreal

Earth Day in Montreal – that is, Jour de la terre – is a celebration like none other. Free concerts, lectures and documentaries on the earth are abundant in this metropolitan, giving you and your children the opportunity to both experience and learn:

· Head to the Musée des maîtres et artisans du Québec between April 24-25 and learn about the traditions of the prehistoric society, a time in which life depended on nature. Activities include making a Tree Of Life – an activity to help children understand the responsibility we have to maintaining our environment. Great for children aged five and up!

· Help wean your teens off of fast food by listening to a lecture by Geoff Andrews on April 25, famed author of A Slow Food Story, at the bookstore Appetite for Books. Andrews’ book examines the Slow Food movement, which celebrates local and organic foods and helping to illustrate to your hungry kids that what they eat affects more than their stomachs.

Ottawa

What’s happening in Canada’s beloved capital city on Earth Day? A lot! Get your family together for some of Ottawa’s many activities that are happening over the course of more than just one day, including:

· The EnviroCentre’s Sustainable Transportation Fair, held on April 24, will help your kids understand the impact of the transportation choices we make every day. Inspire your children to jump on their bike instead of asking for a car ride to school or to meet their friends.

· The Canadian Museum of Nature hosts the Earth Day Ottawa Concert, Exhibition and Award Show on April 24, where there will be a mini folk festival that includes performances for children. Make sure to get to the museum before noon when admission is free!

Toronto

As is usual in Toronto, there are a slew of opportunities to get you and your family active and engaged. Earth Day weekend in the city brings about a variety of earth-friendly happenings to take advantage of:

· The Earth Day Fun Fair on Algonquin Island (Toronto Island) is hosted by the Waterfront Montessori Children’s Centre on April 24 for children ages 2-8. The fair encourages the whole family to come celebrate and participate in nature walks, crafts, face-painting, and even an informative puppet show.

· We all know today’s children are technologically adept – and with this adeptness comes a slew of electronic items that they eventually won’t want anymore. Free Geek Toronto, a non-profit organization, is hosting an opportunity on April 24 for you and your family to understand what computers and their hardware do to our environment. While touring their facilities and listening in, bring in your used computers and parts for proper disposal.

Vancouver

West coast residents are already generally known for their environmental awareness. This Earth Day, the City of Vancouver does its reputation proud with loads of activities appropriate for all ages via Earth Day Vancouver 2010 at Everett Crowley Park on April 24.

This annual festival boasts award-winning entertainment, environmental exhibits and much more, with an expected 5000 attendees anticipated. The festival provides families with numerous opportunities to have fun while learning about what Earth Day represents – very special children’s activities.

For more information on any of the above events or those happening in your own city, visit your city’s website or go to www.earthday.ca.

Are you an environmentally-friendly parent? Tell us what small (or big) changes you and your children are making to help our environment by leaving a comment below. Or did we miss an event in your hometown? Let us know.