I’ve always had a love of nature, but growing up Earth day seemed more like a novelty than a day of action. That is, until I became a mother.
When my son was just a couple months old, we took a trip to the eco-meca of Portland, Oregon. Seeing what good stewards of the environment the residents of Portland were was inspirational. And it caused me to have a major perspective shift. I realized that my love of nature wasn’t enough to ensure its preservation. If I wanted my son to grow up in a healthy environment, and to know and love nature the way I did, then I was going to have to start taking action now to protect it for his future.
And thus, my “green-thumb” was born. While I may not be considered the darkest shade of green just yet, I continue to try and make Earth-friendly choices on a daily basis. And I’ve discovered that caring is contagious- because my son enjoys getting in on the eco-action now too. What took a cross-country trip for me to realize is almost innate in him.
Showing our children what it means to be good stewards of the environment will inspire them to get involved at an early age. Here are some simple ways to celebrate Earth day with your kids and encourage eco-awareness…
- Talk about ways to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle at home: like using fewer paper products, turning of the water when brushing teeth, using reusable water bottles (like Klean Kanteen) instead of disposable ones, composting kitchen scraps, or donating old toys/books/clothes to Goodwill or a local shelter.
- Participate in a community service project, like a community clean-up. If you can’t find one in your area, simply walk around your neighborhood and collect trash (but make sure you wear work gloves).
- Give back by planting a tree, flowers, herbs, or a vegetable garden. Don’t have extra yard space? Use pots that you can place around your patio or on your stoop.
- Make eco-friendly crafts. Build Junk Yard Robots using “trash” items collected from around the house (toilet paper rolls, cans, milk cartons, etc). Make a planter from the bottom half of a plastic milk jug. Turn an orange juice carton into a bird house by painting/decorating it, cutting a small hole in the side, and inserting a stick, under the hole, as a perch.
- Take your kids on a nature hike. Play “I Spy” while walking around, or have a nature-themed scavenger hunt. Exploring their surroundings will help kids foster an appreciation for them.
- Have a picnic. Pack up your basket and hit the road. Spread out at the beach, park, or in a meadow along your hiking trail. Our Oven-Fried Chicken is the perfect thing to pack.