Earth Day has come and gone yet each and every day we have a responsibility to take care of our planet. The one and only Earth we have is the one and only Earth we get.
How to make every day Earth Day
Go for a walk and take a trash bag with you. Picking up trash you see lying about will become a habit and you’ll leave the street a better place than you found it. This is especially useful after the garbage trucks have come through. You and your kids can grab the bits that escaped!
Put a recycling bin in your bathroom. The cardboard tubes from toilet paper, empty shampoo and conditioner bottles, and the tags from new clothing need not be sent to the landfill! An added benefit is emptying this recycling bin is a great chore for a younger child.
Walk or bike where you can. Even in the rain. Make it adventure for younger children. Talk about exercise with older kids. Use the time together to connect.
Take reusable shopping bags with you! Keep them in your car. If you frequently forget (like me!) invest in one that folds into itself and attaches to your purse or diaper bag. On the rare occasion you have to get a bag from the store, utilize it for another purpose when you get home. Many stores also have a take-back bin for used store bags!
Start a compost bin. There are COUNTLESS on-line resources to get your going. We have a three bin system and in 14 years have been able to make great soil to add to our flower garden. If you live in the city, check your community resources. Many neighborhoods have a common composting area!
Create a small garden area in your yard or on your balcony. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Growing some of your own food teaches children where food comes from, what happens when it grows, and how a seed can become an entire meal. Understanding the life cycle of a plant may reinforce how important keeping our water and land healthy.
Make a small investment in reusable lunch containers. Our children go to a certified green school and we are encouraged to not use baggies. If I make it home prior to the kids, I get a small bin of hot water and soap in the sink waiting. They know to empty their food waste into the compost, recycle what they can and throw what they can’t. Then the containers go into the water and get washed, rinsed and set to dry for the next day. An added plus here is I know they are getting veggies (the green container), fruit (the red container), and protein (the blue container) each and every lunch.
Pay attention to how the products you purchase are packaged. We buy a lot of things in bulk (family of six!) and we’ve changed brands a few times simply based on wasteful extra packaging. If you simply cannot give up a product find a way to recycle or reuse any extra packaging. We frequently use the outside extra plastic wrap to pack our holiday decorations away.
Plant trees. For summer birthdays and holidays we gift each other trees. A greener world is a healthier world! (Dig safely! Call your local utilities first.)
As a mother of a family of six, I’m very aware of our carbon footprint. Yet by recycling, composting, and be conscious of what we purchase, we produce one or less bag of garbage a week. I want to do my part to make the world better and am always looking for more ideas!
How do you make each day Earth Day?