Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you know that today is Earth Day. Although I truly think that EVERY day should be Earth Day, it warms my heart to know that there is a day set aside to bring awareness to our planet…its beauty, its resources, and its resiliency.
Now I have spoken to people who have said “I’m not really into being green”. I’m not really sure what that even means, but the bottom line is that the planet belongs to ALL of us. We share it and it’s our responsibility to take care of it if we want it to continue to take care of us. And it really isn’t that hard.
You have undoubtedly heard the term “reduce, reuse, recycle”. More than a clever catch phrase, this really captures the essence of what being green is all about. Use only what you need, use it again when you can, and give it to someone who can use it for something else.
My hope is that as parents we will give our children plenty of guidance in this area so that they will grow up with the notion of not only “going” green, but “being” green. If we teach them early, this will be all they know to do.
Here are some things you can TODAY:
1. Get your kids outside. Whatever type of weather you’re having, discuss it. Look for shapes in the clouds, catch rain water in a container, talk about how water turns to snow, enjoy the sun and the wind. Talk about how what we do each day ultimately affects our weather.
2. Take a walk or bike ride around the neighborhood. Besides the benefit of fresh air and exercise, talk about what you see. Look at the grass that is waking up from its winter nap. Look at the buds starting to emerge on the trees. Admire the tulips and daffodils that are sprouting from beneath the earth’s surface. Watch the squirrels scurrying about looking for food and listen as the robins busily prepare nests for the babies. See if you can spot any earthworms, ants or beetles making an appearance.
3. See if you can have a ZERO trash day. Create a compost bin with your table scraps, egg shells and coffee grounds. By adding to it each day and watering it down, you will be creating an amazing source of nourishment for a new vegetable or herb garden. Try to recycle or upcycle everything else.
4. Even if you’re a city dweller, you can start a tiny little garden on a patio or balcony with a small container, a little soil and some seeds. Try some beans to start and see your child’s face light up as they grow!
5. Unplug (even for a few hours). Take the time that you would normally spend online, watching TV or allowing the kids to play video games and just unplug. Talk with each other, play board games, enjoy your backyard or a neighborhood park. Dry your clothes on the clothes line, open some windows. It will help our planet and your soul.
This earth is one of the greatest privileges ever bestowed on us. But with great privilege comes great responsibility. Lucky for all of us, it really isn’t that hard.
Enjoy your Earth Day and here’s hoping that these few little steps will engage you in coming up with ever greater steps in the future.