Earth Day Recycling Activities and Books in Chinese and English

Earth Day Recycling Activities, Books, Videos in Chinese and English!

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 major lifestyle changes, contrary to fast fashion and Amazon Prime culture.

We tried to avoid impulsive purchases and involve our kids in decluttering and cleaning 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!

Earth Day Recycling Activities, Books, Videos in Chinese and English!

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 language skills.

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Earth Day Recycling Activities, Books, and Videos in Chinese and English!

Here are the resources we’ve used and are excited to share in this post:

  1. Important vocabulary about Earth Day in Mandarin Chinese
  2. Trash and recycling sorting activity
  3. “Reduce, reuse, recycle” coloring sheet (English / Chinese)
  4. Books about recycling in Chinese and English
  5. Videos about Earth Day in Chinese and English

1. Important vocabulary about Earth Day in Mandarin Chinese

For parents learning Chinese with their kids, here is 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)
Earth Day sorting activity - trash, recycling, green waste - with things you have at home

2. Kids Mini Earth Day recycling activities

This fun and simple activity involves materials you already have at home!

We have this on our Montessori-inspired shelf for the kids 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
    • Paper
    • X-acto knife
    • Scissors
    • Optional: Acrylic paint or tempura paint sticks
  • 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.
Earth Day sorting activity - trash, recycling, green waste - with things you have at home

How to set up trash and recycling sorting activity

  1. Cut a rectangle-shaped hole from a toilet paper roll. Repeat 3 times for each mini waste bin.
  2. Paint colors to match whatever your local city waste management uses for their bins. Our city uses gray for trash, blue for recycling, and green for yard waste.
  3. Trace the toilet paper roll 3 times on construction paper or cardboard. Cut out 3 circles and tape to the toilet paper roll.
  4. Collect different small objects around the house.
  5. Present the activity on a tray and introduce each waste bin and material to the child.
  6. Demonstrate sorting. Then let your child try!

Related: Chinese learning activities made from cardboard and bottle caps!

3. Earth Day recycling and coloring page activity in Chinese and English

Earth Day coloring page in Chinese and English - Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle!

Our printable bilingual coloring page emphasizes the 3 R’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

Here are our favorite books about Earth Day and recycling in Chinese and English!

Chinese children’s books about recycling

English children’s books about recycling

Explore this: Chinese Books for Kids Organized by Type and Level

5. Watch Videos about Earth Day and recycling activities in Chinese and English

Here are videos that we watched about Earth Day!

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.

Explore this: Fun and Educational Chinese YouTube Channels for Kids

丢垃圾 Garbage classification

Magic Town has a helpful video about classifying the types of garbage and which bin they should go in.

This Mandarin song about recycling is very clear and catchy! Subtitles are in simplified Chinese.

学会回收歌 | 好习惯儿歌童谣 | 儿童歌曲 | 普通话 配音

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! I wish this video had subtitles, though.

Explore this: Best 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!

One Comment

  1. Great post! This year, for earth day, i had artists from a local outside sculpture museum come to the school where i work to talk about the recycling they do as part of their program. i will be looking at following some of these suggestions for myself in 2022. thanks for the suggestions!

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