All too often we neglect the natural environment. From our backyards, to across the globe, it is essential to take care of the earth in order for it to take care of us. Sometimes focusing on the earth as a whole can be overwhelming, so today, we encourage you to take a moment to focus on the importance of trees and what you can do to honor and protect them. This earth day, engage and educate youth about our wonderful environment and empower them to protect it!

Facts on trees to share with your kids!

  1. Trees provide shade and wind buffering and when can reduce annual heating and cooling costs by 2.1 billion dollars and can reduce air conditioning needs by 30%!
  2. Trees don’t lose their ability with age, in fact, mature trees are able to reduce 70 times more pollution than a recently planted tree.
  3. Trees produce the oxygen that we need to breathe. One tree provides approximately 260 pounds of oxygen per year, so two mature trees can create enough oxygen annually to support a family of four!
  4. Trees help absorb carbon dioxide, which is one of the leading causes of climate change. One tree can absorb as much carbon in a year as a car produces while driving 26,000 miles!
  5. Dendrochronology is the dating and study of annual rings in trees that can sometimes lead to the exact calendar year that tree rings were formed in certain kinds of wood.

Here are a few simple ways you can help save trees today!

  1. Be smarter with paper
    • Reuse scrap paper, use both sides of the paper, and print less!
  2. Use a re-usable water bottle and mug
    • Carry your own bottle with you, it makes a big difference!
  3. Use cloth napkins in your lunch
    • Wipe away your mess in a more sustainable way!
  4. Pack lunches in reusable containers instead of plastic bags
  5. Plant a tree and start a garden to help take care of the earth!

Have you ever wondered what the inside of a tree looks like? When you look inside, trees read like a storybook, telling the tales of their long lives. By studying the rings of a tree, you are able to see a snapshot of history. Create your own tree-ring craft to help kids learn how to honor trees and their role in the environment!

Materials:

  • Old tree branch
  • Saw to cut (adults only)
  • Paint brushes
  • Paint
  • Notebook
  • Writing tools
  • Any other decorative material you might want

1. Educate

Talk to kids about the importance of trees. Share the facts and the ways they can live more sustainably and what your family can do to protect the earth each and every day.

2. Get Outside and Connect

Find a tree that you love! Whether it’s one in your backyard or one you find on a hike, spend some time with it! Observe the tree, sit with it, sketch it, think about what role trees play in your life and the lives of all other living things! Some questions to think about: What does the tree look like on the outside? What do you think the tree looks like on the inside? Don’t forget to take a moment to give thanks for the tree and the ways it makes your life and the lives of all other living things better!

3. Cut

*Adults only for this step! Grab a branch or find a fire log and cut the log into rings for a coaster (adults, you got this part) or use a branch and cut smaller pieces that can have holes drilled into it to use as a necklace

4. Decorate

Decorate your tree ring in a way that holds meaning for what trees offer and why they are important. This can be a mini mandala to hang in the house and/or use as a coaster as a constant reminder to honor the trees and all living things.

5. Reflect

As you decorate, reflect on the role trees play in the environment. Think about each tree ring and allow each layer to hold an intention as you create. Stop and think about what story the tree rings have to tell about the life of the tree and the environment that surrounds it.

6. Adopt

Now that you understand their importance, adopt a tree for the Amazon Rainforest!

Take Action Today

“Dendrochronology.” Dendrochronology Facts for Kids | KidzSearch.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.

“Fun Facts About Trees.” Trees Are Good. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.

SavATree. “Tree Facts | Facts About Trees.” Savatree.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.