I thought I'd take this time to share with you some of the things that our family does to help our community and our planet...
First, and I think, most important, is that my husband and I are teaching our children about waste management. At these ages, 7 and 5, our boys understand the importance of cleaning up and recycling whenever and wherever possible. They are completely appalled when they see that someone has littered and are quick to point it out to us wherever we go.
In our little town, a community group organizes a spring clean-up day. It's something that our family takes part in every year. We call in our troops; my husband and I, our two boys and our two nieces... and although our nieces live 35 minutes away and are 11 and 12, they are still happy to help out... that says a lot about the mind set of some kids today. It shows what a great job some parents are doing to stress the importance of treading lightly on our planet.
Recycle: We try to recycle anything and everything that comes into our home... my goal is to have only one garbage can of trash by the time garbage day rolls around. As we are a small town, our recycling trucks come every other week, meaning less toxic emissions... yay! We generally have three full recycle bins bi-weekly, something that makes me feel both proud of and sad about all at the same time. The fact that I can fill three recycle bins is a testament to how much manufacturers rely on over packaging. How can we change this??? Remember when you were a kid and toys came in a cardboard box with a picture of the toy printed on it??? How can we get back to that???
Donate old clothes. There are many people in need of hand-outs... friends and strangers. There are many local organizations that will accept donations of clothing; women's shelters and group homes to name a couple. The ladies that I get together with for girl's nights quite often bring clothes to exchange. We're doing our part... a small part, but it's something. And ask friends and family, you may be surprised at how many people would be willing to accept the offerings.
We keep old batteries... The Home Depot has a battery recycling bin right inside their front door... use it. Battery acid leeches into our ground water and is havoc on our environment.
Take advantage of your community dumps amnesty days, you can rid your house of a number of things like old paint, motor oil, old computers, batteries... the list goes on, and on, and on....
Reduce: The greatest tip for healthy living, healthy eating... shop the outside aisles of your grocery store... all of the pre-packaged, over processed items are housed in the centre aisles... stick to the fresh stuff. When picking out produce, don't use the plastic bags that are provided in the stores, put items into your cart loose. Use re-usable grocery bags... they are very fashionable!
I walk my children to and from school everyday... Walk whenever you can, it's healthy for you, your loved ones, and the environment... if you have to drive, carpool when you can, and don't idle. Idling creates 50% more toxic emissions than driving... a scary statistic.
Use good-for-the-environment products. Or better yet, there are sooooo many places on the internet where you can find recipes for effective homemade cleaners. I love my vinegar and water with lavender essential oils. My next endeavour is to make my own laundry detergent.
Reuse: Find creative uses for something you may be trashing... with kids around, many items I thought were trash or recyclable have transformed into something that can create hours of entertainment.
Transform old clothes into something new... this is my new favourite craft... I love creating new clothes from old clothes... it's fun and unique. Be happy in knowing you are a one-of-a-kind creature!
I could go on and on, but I won't.
Do your part, you'll be proud of the conscious efforts you make, and at the same time you'll be leaving less of a footprint on this beautiful, and marvellous planet...
Enjoy your Earth Day... ;)