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Start your Earth Day Action Quest today!

April 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day! Everything is a little different right now, and the way we celebrate Earth Day is no exception! You can reduce, reuse, and recycle from home, and explore nature right in your own neighborhood! Complete the challenges below with your family to leave the Earth a better place for future generations, pick up some thrifty habits, and enjoy the spring weather. As you complete the challenges, share photos on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #ActionQuest2020. Stay safe, follow social distancing guidelines, and happy trails!

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Challenge 1 of 16: Heading out? Lights out!

It only takes a moment to turn off the lights when leaving a room or office, but this simple habit helps save electricity, lower energy costs, and extend the life of light bulbs. Commit to keeping lights out in unoccupied rooms for the next week.

Challenge 2 of 16: Sort it Out

Is there something that you haven’t been 100% sure that you should be putting in your recycling bin? Find out! If you’re in Ramsey County, visit the A to Z Recycling & Disposal Guide here. and, if you’re in Washington County, visit the Washington County Disposal Directory here to research what can and can’t go in that bin.

Challenge 3 of 16: Neighborhood Tree Identification

What cleans our drinking water, gives us fresh air, provides a home to animals, and colors our fall landscape? You guessed it: trees! Minnesota is home to 53 native tree species. Channel your inner-detective and identify a tree in your neighborhood. Visit the website here for identification help. Bonus: draw or paint a picture of your favorite tree.

Challenge 4 of 16: Find Your New Favorite Park

Explore one of the 16 regional and county parks in your own backyard! Visit here or here to start planning. Be sure to follow social distancing guidelines while you explore.

Challenge 5 of 16: Try Backyard Composting!

You can learn about backyard composting here and here. Experiment to find out which takes longer to break down outside – an apple core or banana peel.

Challenge 6 of 16: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Spring is a great time to walk around your neighborhood and take a closer look at the changes occurring in nature. Take a walk and find: something blue, something green, and something brown; three creatures; and something that makes you smile.

Challenge 7 of 16: Nature Letters

Use rocks/sticks/leaves/dirt to make the first letter of your name!

Challenge 8 of 16: Neighborhood Clean Up

Grab a plastic or paper bag and tour your block, seeing how many pieces of trash and recycling you can pick up. Not only will you get some fresh air, but you’ll leave your neighborhood looking nicer and keep trash out of our rivers, lakes, and oceans. Just make sure you use gloves, skip any dirty or dangerous trash, and wash your hands afterwards!

Challenge 9 of 16: Stretch Your Food

40% of all food in our country is wasted. When we throw away food, we waste money and all the resources it took to grow, ship, and keep that food fresh. What’s the last food item you threw away because it went bad? Look it up on Save the Food’s storage guide to see if you could have been storing it better.

Challenge 10 of 16: Sing a Song!

Write and sing a song about the Earth! And if you’re brave, record and share your song on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtags #ActionQuest2020 and #MyActionQuestAnthem.

Challenge 11 of 16: Explore the World Through Reading

Read a book about nature - plants, animals, climate, landscapes! Read a book from home or borrow a digital book, picture book or audiobook for free through your public library. Visit your library’s website to get started.

Challenge 12 of 16: Art and Nature

Nature has inspired art for as long as we can remember. You can find inspiration in your own backyard or neighborhood - trees on the boulevard, flowers blossoming, and even little weeds. Sketch, paint, photograph - the opportunities are endless, and you’ll have a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork.

Challenge 13 of 16: Art for Your Neighbors

Draw a picture of a big flower and hang it on your window for your neighbors to see.

Challenge 14 of 16: Hunt for Something Recycled

Take a look around your house and see what products you have that are made from recycled content. Not sure where to start? Check your cereal boxes!

Challenge 15 of 16: Craft it Up

Have fun exploring this Earth Day activities website for kids. You’ll find games, crafts, coloring pages and more here.

Challenge 16 of 16: What’s a MRF?

What did you just say? MRF stands for materials recovery facility, which is where the items in your recycling bin go to be sorted for recycling. Find a video of a MRF in action and prepare to be amazed.