Posts Tagged ‘Earth Day’

In honor of Earth Day, I wanted to give you a fun recycling activity for you and your family. Typical backyard birds don’t know the difference between a fancy bird feeder and one that is homemade.  Save your money and create a feeder out of your empty milk cartons.  By recycling a milk carton and turning it into a homemade craft, your kids can make new-feathered friends!

Be sure to dig up an old pair of binoculars and invest in a bird identification book to keep handy when you put up your feeder.  It is always fun to encourage your children to keep a diary of the birds that visit your new bird feeder.

Skill Level: Moderately easy
Time involved: 2 hours

What You Need:

  • Milk carton
  • Popsicle sticks
  • 1 dowel stick
  • Glue
  • Stapler and staples
  • Masking tape
  • Brown paint (non-toxic)
  • Scissors or a knife (and adult assistance)
  • Twine
  • Birdseeds

Step-by-Step Guide of What to Do:

  1. Clean and dry the milk carton thoroughly.
  2. Staple the top of the carton shut.
  3. Take the masking tape and wrap the entire outside of the carton with it.
  4. (WITH ADULT ASSISTANCE)  Cut openings on opposite sides of a clean carton and coat with nontoxic paint over the masking tape on the carton, which will make the birdhouse look more like wood. (Make sure it is non-toxic paint because when it rains, the paint can drip or even chip and you don’t want the birds pecking at toxic paint!)
  5. Glue Popsicle stick shingles onto the roof (the top of) the milk carton.
  6. For a perch, poke holes below the openings and slip a dowel through the holes.
  7. Fill the bottom of the feeder with birdseed mix. (You can make your own mix by combining a variety of nuts and seeds, such as sunflower seeds, millet, thistle seeds and yellow corn.)
  8. Poke a hole through the top of the feeder, and string a piece of twine through the hole.
  9. Then hang the feeder with twine in a spot that’s easy to see from the house or at least 20 feet away, but far enough away from fences or posts to prevent other animals.


  • A quart size carton works perfect because it is not too large and holds a good amount of food.
  • Check your bird feeder regularly and refill as needed.
  • If you have a lot of squirrels in your backyard, you might want to invest in a squirrel-proof pole birdfeeder.

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Earth Day is on April 22nd every year and is the day to remember to take care of our planet, Earth. It is a good way to remind our families (and ourselves) that we must all do our part, and we can make a difference.  Earth Day can be every day!

Show your kids they can make a difference and take care of Mother Earth by following the 3 magical R’s of thumb (well, green thumb!) – “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”. 

Reduce – This simply means, use less stuff!

  • Bring your own bags to the grocery store.
  • Use reusable containers for leftovers and in your child’s lunch bag.
  • Cut back on fast food meals (they pollute more than your body!).
  • Turn off the faucet when your kids are brushing their teeth and only turn it on to rinse their mouths. According to the EPA (http://www.epa.gov/), you can save 8 gallons of water a day if everyone in your household turns off the water while they brush their teeth in the morning and at night.

Reuse – Use again rather than throw away.

  • Buy used children’s books.
  • Donate old toys – Remind yourself you are giving someone else a gift.

Recycle – Make something new from something old.

  • Recycle aluminum, paper and plastic – if you take these materials to a recycling center, they can be used for other purposes to help our communities.
  • Go to Obviously.com (http://www.obviously.com/recycle/) to find out what exactly can be recycled, which is called Commonly Recycled Materials.

Mini-Lesson for your kids on Earth Day:  Earth Day was founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson (of Wisconsin) in the early 1960s. Nelson was concerned that environmental issues were not being focused on by our government. In his ‘go-green’ efforts, Nelson organized a nationwide grassroots demonstration in 1970 to promote conservation and awareness (more than 20 million Americans participated in this first Earth Day celebration). His demonstration took such interest that it became the 1st official Earth Day!  Each year, April 22nd marks the celebration of Earth Day, and is now observed around the world.

Fun Facts About Earth Day

  • Earth Day is big celebration for schools. On many school calendars, it is the third most activity-inspiring holiday, after Christmas and Halloween.
  • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to watch a TV for three hours – it’s equivalent to half a gallon of gasoline.
  • April 22 is the first official day of Spring in the Northern hemisphere and of Fall in the Southern hemisphere and was chosen to be Earth Day for this reason.
  • Never underestimate recycling: if every newspaper was recycled, we could save about 250,000,000 trees each year. Unfortunately only 27% of all American newspapers are recycled.
  • More than 20,000,000 Hershey’s Kisses are wrapped each day, using 133 square miles of tinfoil. All that foil is recyclable, but not many people realize it.
  • Only 11% of the earth’s surface is used to grow food.
  • The world’s first national park was founded in 1872 at Yellowstone National Park in the US.

YouTube.com – Jack Johnson: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – 3 “R” Song

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What are your Earth Day plans with the kids? Planting a garden, a tree, a windowsill herb “garden” (for those apt./condo dwellers)? Even babies can get involved because remember, babies know dirt! I hope the White House garden that Michelle Obama planted with area kids might get some attention today from kids from another D.C. elementary school. Happy Earth Day!earth_flag_pd

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