Happy Earth Day! 地球日快乐! 地球日快樂！(Dìqiú rì kuàilè!) Although this holiday is celebrated worldwide on April 22, Earth Day recycling activities are great for the whole year.
Recycling is a steep learning curve for most people, including myself. “Eco-friendly” requires lifestyle changes which are opposite of our fast fashion and Amazon Prime culture.
Over the years, we have tried to minimize purchases, and my kids are involved in decluttering and cleaning up the house.
To encourage eco-friendly habits in our kids, we have done a few activities, read books, and watched videos about protecting the Earth!
Since my kids and I are learning to speak and read Chinese together, we have discussed environmental effects while learning new vocabulary listed in this post.
This improves our minority language skills while supporting our English knowledge.
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Earth Day Recycling Activities, Books, Videos in Chinese and English!
Here are the resources we’ve used and are excited to share in this post:
- Important vocabulary about Earth Day in Mandarin Chinese
- Trash and recycling sorting activity
- “Reduce, reuse, recycle” coloring sheet (English / Chinese)
- Books about recycling in Chinese and English
- Videos about Earth Day in Chinese and English
1. Important vocabulary about Earth Day in Mandarin Chinese
For parents who are learning Chinese with their kids, here are relevant vocabulary about Earth Day in simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Hanyu Pinyin, and English.
Key terms about Earth Day in Chinese
- 地球/地球 (dì qiú / Earth)
- 世界地球日 (shìjiè dìqiú rì / Earth Day)
- 环保/環保 (huán bǎo / environmental protection)
- 环保的 / 環保的 (huánbǎo de / eco-friendly)
- 气候变化 / 氣候變化 (qìhòu biànhuà / climate change)
- 污染 (wūrǎn / pollution)
- 有毒的 (yǒudú de/ toxic)
- 二氧化碳 (èr yǎng huà tàn / carbon dioxide)
- 全球暖化 (quánqiú nuǎn huà / global warming)
- 分类/分類 (fēn lèi / sort)
- 垃圾 (lā jī [China pronunciation]/ lè sè [Tawain pronunciation] / trash)
- 减少垃圾 (jiǎnshǎo lājī / reduce trash)
- 回收 (huíshōu / recycle)
- 堆肥 (duīféi / compost)
- 垃圾桶 (lājī tǒng [China] / lèsè tǒng [Taiwan] / trash can)
- 回收桶 (huíshōu tǒng / recycling can)
- 院子绿色植物回收箱 (yuànzi lǜsè zhíwù huíshōu xiāng / yard waste bin)
- 购物袋/購物袋 (gòu wù dài / shopping bag)
- 零廢物 (líng fèiwù / zero waste)
Common phrases for protecting the Earth
- 让我们保护地球 / 讓我們保護地球 (Ràng wǒmen bǎohù dìqiú / Let’s protect the Earth)
- 减少, 再利用, 回收! (Jiǎnshǎo huíshōu zài lìyòng / Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!)
- 请关灯 / 請關燈 (Qǐng guān dēng / Please turn off the light)
- 请关水 / 請關水 (Qǐng guān shuǐ / Please turn off the water)
- 节约用电 / 節約用電 (jiéyuē yòng diàn / Save electricity)
- 不要浪費電 (Bù yào làng fèi diàn / Don’t waste electricity)
- 节约能源/節約能源 (jiéyuē néngyuán / Save energy)
- 节约用水 / 節約用水 (jiéyuē yòngshuǐ / Save water)
- 不要浪費水 (Bù yào làng fèi shuǐ / Don’t waste water)
- 把垃圾捡起来 / 把垃圾撿起來 (Bǎ lā jī jiǎn qǐ lái / bǎ lè sè jiǎn qǐ lái / Pick up the trash)
- 不要亂丟垃圾 / 不要乱丢垃圾 (Bù yào luàn diū lè sè / Do not litter)
2. Kids Mini Earth Day recycling activities
This is a fun and simple activity that involves materials you already have at home!
We currently have this on our Montessori-inspired kids shelf for them to explore different materials. While exploring texture, the tactile input reinforces spoken vocabulary.
The mini DIY recycling, trash, and green waste bins are also great for practicing sorting!
What you need for Earth Day sorting activity:
- For the trash, recycling, and green waste bins:
- Cardboard toilet paper rolls
- Household items for sorting
- Examples include:
- Plastic wrap 保鲜膜 / 保鮮膜 / Bǎoxiān mó
- Bubble wrap 气泡布 / 氣泡布 / Qìpào bù
- Paper 纸 / 紙 / Zhǐ
- Cardboard 纸板 / 紙板 Zhǐbǎn
- Bottle caps 瓶盖 / Píng gài
- Aluminum foil 铝箔纸 / 鋁箔紙 / Lǚbó zhǐ
- Leaves 树叶 / 樹葉 / Shùyè
- Flowers 花 / Huā
- Twigs 树枝 / 樹枝 Shùzhī
- Cloth 布 / 布 Bù
- Napkins 餐巾 / 餐巾 Cānjīn
- Please do not use new materials for this activity. This will defeat the purpose of teaching about reducing waste.
- Examples include:
How to set up trash and recycling sorting activity
- Cut rectangle shaped-hole from toilet paper roll. Repeat 3 times for each mini waste bin.
- Paint colors to match whatever colors your local city waste management uses for their bins. Our city uses gray for trash, blue for recycling, and green for yard waste.
- Trace the toilet paper roll 3 times on a sheet of construction paper or cardboard. Cut out 3 circles and tape to toilet paper roll.
- Collect different small objects around the house.
- Present activity on tray and introduce each waste bin and material to the child.
- Demonstrate sorting and then let your child try!
3. Earth Day recycling and coloring page activity in Chinese and English
Here is a bilingual coloring page that emphasizes the 3R’s of environmental protection: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! 减少, 再利用, 回收! (Jiǎnshǎo huíshōu zài lìyòng)
4. Earth Day books about recycling in Chinese and English
These are our favorite books about Earth Day and recycling in Chinese and English!
Chinese children’s books about recycling
- Magic School Bus 回收利用 (Narration Luka Reading Robot
- Berenstain Bears (Narration via Ximalaya and Luka Reading Robot)
English children’s books about recycling
Explore this: Chinese Books for Kids Organized by Type and Level
5. Four Videos about Earth Day and recycling activities in Chinese and English
Here are videos that we watched about Earth Day!
The first bilingual video is especially helpful for learning relevant vocabulary about Earth Day in Chinese.
The other 3 videos are songs with animation.
If you are a screen-free family, simple turn over the phone when you play the Chinese music.
1. Earth Day Chinese Lesson – Learn About the Climate Crisis in Chinese and English!
Skitter has an extremely helpful bilingual video that explains key vocabulary about Earth Day, climate change, the environment, and renewable energy.
Subtitles are in simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Pinyin, and English!
2. 丢垃圾 Garbage classification
Magic town has a helpful video about classifying the types of garbage and which bin they should go in.
The Mandarin Chinese are very clear and catchy!
Subtitles are in simplified Chinese.
3. 学会回收歌 | 好习惯儿歌童谣 | 儿童歌曲 | 普通话 配音 | Little Baby Bum | 小宝贝布姆 中文版
小宝贝布姆 – 儿歌童谣 Little Baby Bum has an adorable music video about recycling with some craft suggestions from milk cartons, toilet paper rolls, plastic bottles, and other common household items!
This video has no subtitles.
Explore this: 100+ Popular Chinese Children’s Songs and Nursery Rhymes
Have you tried these bilingual Earth Day recycling activities?
What resources have helped your children and students learn about protecting the Earth?
Please share in the comments below!
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