Milton Hershey School Shares Ways to Celebrate Earth Day
By Melissa Gallo, MHS Environmental Center Instructional Advisor and Dr. Jason Smith, MHS Horticultural Center Instructional Advisor
On Earth Day we focus on the beauty of the world we live in and how we contribute to it. Each year we are reminded to be environmentally conscious so we can leave the world a better place for generations to come. At Milton Hershey School, the Agricultural and Environmental Education (AEE) program teaches students how to have an appreciation for nature and an understanding of the role they play in the bigger picture of conservation.
There is just one Earth, and it is up to us to treat it well. The choices we make today, no matter how small, can build a better, cleaner tomorrow. There are many ways students and families can make a difference in the environment. Here are some activities to consider for Earth day:
Challenge Each Other to an Outdoor Scavenger Hunt
Turn a leisurely walk into a challenge by intentionally searching for nature. For example, how many birds or butterflies can be spotted? If it’s a wooded area, what is the oddest shaped stick that can be found? Our students recently completed this challenge with their student home, look what they were able to find.
Make a pledge to save energy for the next month. Start by counting how many lights you have on in the house at one time. Try to commit to only having lights on in the rooms you are in.
Make Smart Water Decisions
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average person uses 82 gallons of water per day. Test how much water you are using when you brush your teeth by placing a bowl under the faucet so you can see how much water you would save if you commit to turning the water off while brushing.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Take some time to clean up your street or a public park and recycle what you can. After evaluating what was collected, you could even transform a milk carton into a bird feeder.
Read books about Earth Day
There are many books that celebrate the environment and inspire children to be good to it. Recently, MHS fifth-graders read River Ran Wild, a true story about the history and clean-up of the Nashua River. For younger children, consider The Lorax by Dr. Seuss.
We live on a pretty spectacular planet! Gather up blankets and lie on the ground after dark to count how many stars you see and try to identify them. This will give you an appreciation for how big the Earth is and how tiny we are in comparison to the galaxies far, far away!
Milton Hershey School is carefully following federal and state guidelines, CDC considerations, and MHS-established health and safety protocols to keep our campus a safe, nurturing, and healthy place. Any group photos of unmasked subjects were taken prior to the face coverings mandate.