Celebrate Earth Day the 5-2-1-0 Way
By Mary Kathryn Poole, MPH | Program Director, Let’s Move Pittsburgh | Photographs by Paul G. Wiegman
Earth Day is a time to give thanks for our planet and to encourage one another to protect and preserve our environment. Composting, recycling, and turning off electronics are examples of simple actions that can have a positive impact on the environment. Leading a healthy lifestyle can be beneficial not only to your health, but also to the environment. Here are some family-friendly ways to celebrate Earth Day by meeting the recommendations of 5-2-1-0 — 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables, 2 hours or less of recreational screen time, 1 hour or more of physical activity, and 0 sugary drinks and more water — every day!
5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day
A popular to way to celebrate Earth Day is to practice a “Meatless Monday.” There are plenty of meatless protein options that are both tasty and filling, including beans (garbanzo, black, kidney, pinto, cannellini, soy), lentils, peanuts, nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts), peas, tofu, seitan, quinoa, seeds (chia, hemp, sesame, pumpkin, sunflower), spinach, broccoli, and corn — to name a few. An added bonus is that some of these options can count towards meeting your five servings of veggies for the day. For meatless recipe ideas, visit our Meatless Monday pageon Pinterest or this meatless feature from Eating Well. If you plan to adopt a meatless lifestyle, be sure to talk to your physician or a registered dietitian to ensure adequate protein intake.
Another way to demonstrate support for the earth while benefiting your health is by supporting your local farmer. You can do this by signing up for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program that allows you to receive seasonal crop shares from a local farm. Check out PASA’s Community Supported Agriculture Guide to learn more about CSA options in your area.
2 hours or less of recreational screen time every day
It’s easy to spend more than two hours in front of screen every day even outside of school and the workplace. Earth Day is the perfect time to check in on your screen time habits. First, try using this screen time log from Let’s Move! to track your screen time hours in a week. Then, reflect on how you can adjust your routine to spend time partaking in screen-free activities. Set incremental goals to slowly decrease your screen time and make your new routine a habit.
In honor of Earth Day, Let’s Move Pittsburgh challenges you to save energy by having a screen-free Earth Day. Visit PBS.org for fun, low-cost crafts ideas like creating sun prints with flowers, milk carton garden houses, egg carton flower garlands, and more. Also, be sure to check out Earth Day events happening both across the city and at Phipps!
1 hour or more of physical activity every day
Pittsburgh’s parks and trails are one of our city’s finest features. For Earth Day, visit your favorite outdoor space for a one hour walk and give thanks for the gift of nature and green space in our city. Want to explore someplace new? Here is a helpful overview of hiking options from Fitt. If you have little ones, join other caregivers for group hikes that are organized and led byHike it Baby or Venture Outdoors. During or after your walk, celebrate the earth by practicing yoga poses that connect you to nature. A few examples are tree pose, mountain pose, butterfly pose, and child’s pose. This article features kid-friendly Earth Day yoga poses with simple instructions. You can also join us for free family yoga at 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 24, at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.
Be sure to check out the number of family health and wellness events taking place on Saturday, April 30:
- - Celebrate the Summer with UPMC Health Plan, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
- - Ultimate Play Day, 1 p.m.- 4 p.m. at East Liberty Park
- - GNC Live Well Pittsburgh Health & Fitness Expo 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. at David L. Lawrence Convention Center
0 sugary drinks and more water every day
Saving water is an easy way to protect our natural resources. Earth Day is an appropriate time to evaluate your daily water usage. If you are a caregiver, here is a straightforward resource for talking with your kids about saving water by turning off faucets, taking showers instead of baths, and more. Identify areas where your family can make small changes and set some basic goals. For more practical tips on saving water at home, visit EPA.gov.
Conserving water is important to the planet, but consuming water is critical to our health. However, you can be kind to the planet while also drinking the recommended eight glasses of water a day. Try switching from plastic water bottles to reusable water bottles. There are plenty of BPA-free options available online and in stores that will save you money and reduce waste. If you like adding fruit slices to your water, check out these fruit infuser glass water bottles that allow you to boost the flavor of your drink while being environmentally friendly.
How will you celebrate Earth Day? We’d love to hear your thoughts!
This article is an effort of Let’s Move Pittsburgh’s 5-2-1-0 initiative to help Pittsburgh’s youth practice 5-2-1-0 habits every day. Learn more at letsmovepittsburgh.org/5210. Let’s Move Pittsburgh, a collaborative program of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, provides Southwestern Pennsylvania’s children and their caregivers with the knowledge, tools, and support needed to make nutritious food choices and lead active lifestyles. Learn more at letsmovepittsburgh.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.