Earth Day celebrations always aim to bring together education and action for the good of the planet. This year’s focus on the problem of plastic pollution asks everyone to come together in an effort to end the use of single-use plastics by Earth Day 2020. Here are a few girl-sized projects that lend themselves to your family’s efforts to help make an earth-sized difference.

REDUCE AND REFUSE:

T-Shirt Shopping Bags

adapted from American Girl magazine

T-Shirt Shopping Bags

Replace the need for plastic shopping bags by making reusable shopping sacks from old tees!

Bonus: your girl will love giving new life to a favorite shirt she’s outgrown. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Use scissors to cut off the neck band, sleeves, and hem of a crewneck T-shirt. For longer straps, cut the neckline into a large U-shape.

  2. Cutting through both layers of fabric, make 6-inch-long slits every ½ inch along the shirt’s bottom edge.

    T-shirt
  3. Starting at one end, tightly twist together a strip from both the top and bottom layers of the bottom edge of the shirt. Thread strips through a large pony bead at the same time. Slide the bead up the strips as far as possible.

  4. Tie the strips in a knot below the bead. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you reach the end of the fringe.

    T-shirt

REUSE:

Pom-Pom Posy & Vase

adapted from Locker Looks & Study Nooks

Flowers

Make someone’s day blossom eternal with a colorful bouquet! Rather than toss your plastic straws and containers, transform them into something that’s a different kind of sweet. For the vase, cover a small colorful container—like an empty mini candy container—with colorful stickers or decorative tape. For each pom-pom posy, wash and thoroughly dry a green straw. Glue a colorful pom-pom to one end of each straw. Cut out leaves from green washi tape, and glue or stick them to the straw. Slip the stem into the vase.

REMEMBER:

Recycle Wastebasket

adapted from Locker Looks & Study Nooks

Basket

Download

Design a pretty recycling bin to give your family a friendly reminder to recycle their plastic containers. Print this recycling symbol template from American Girl’s Play website. Cut out 3 of the symbols, and use a foam applicator to paint water-based white crafting or school glue on the backs. Gently press the symbols on the outside of a pretty mesh wastebasket, arranging them as shown. Let it dry standing up.

Special thanks to Earth Day Network for granting American Girl permission to share their Earth Day 2018 mission and link to their site. Earth Day Network invites you to join the campaign to End Plastic Pollution at earthday.org.


© 2011, 2014, 2018 American Girl. All American Girl marks are trademarks of American Girl.