"When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world" John Muir
April 22nd is recognized as the "official Earth Day.... but truly we should strive to make every day Earth day, and teach our children the importance of caring for the Earth and the impact it has on us now and for many generations to come.
I've always celebrated the day with my girls, doing various activities, but always stressing the importance of practicing these things every day!
Earth day is about Reducing, Reusing and Recycling as a small part of making a big difference! Some simple ways to do this are the following:
~ Start and maintain your own garden
~Use cloth napkins and towels every day. (Especially when packing lunches. I did a post about all the items I reuse for our lunches)
~ Shop at your local farmer's markets and buy foods that are in season!
~ Recycle!!! Plastic, aluminum, paper, etc. Many schools now offer a recycling program and a large bin to take your recyclables to. What's even better is not only does it help the environment, it raises money for your schools!
~ Reuse items such as toilet paper rolls for crafts.
~ When going shopping, use reusable bags. Many grocery stores will actually give you a credit per bag that you use. Not to mention it works so much better than plastic bags ripping out on you. :-) From selling Thirty One I have quite a bag collection and it keep them in my van for when I go shopping.
~ Be sure to turn off water while brushing teeth and limit shower times. Conserve water as much as possible and consider recycling the water; rain collection bins, etc. Also turn off lights when leaving a room.
~ Shop at consignments, yard sales, Goodwill's, etc for clothing and more. REUSE!!!
We have taught the girls the importance of keeping a compost pile in the yard for gardening, etc. This is a picture of Kathleen the other day picking up yard cuttings, etc. and taking it to the compost bin. She's a hard worker, learning skills to last a lifetime!
"Until a man duplicates a blade of grass, Nature can laugh at his so called scientific knowledge. Remedies from chemicals will never stand in favorable comparison with the products of Nature, the living cell of a plant, the final result of the rays of the sun, the mother of all life" Thomas Alva Edison
A project I'd like to mention is about the Monarch butterflies. They are on their way to extinction as they are rapidly declining due to less and less milkweed being available. One way to help is to plant milkweed in your gardens as it is the only plant a Monarch butterfly lays their eggs on. For a good website about saving the Monarch butteries, please click this link: Save the Monarchs Lots of information and resources to get started. :-) I can't imagine one day not having these beautiful butterflies to enjoy seeing!
Some things you can do to celebrate Earth day (and every day) with your children is:
~Plant a tree in your yard
~ Visit a recycling plant and take a tour
~ Take a nature hike and be observant of all that surrounds you. I always like to take a bag along so my girls can collect items from the hike. Then we study what we found and make crafts out of what materials we can. I always encourage them to write a story about something they found or an animal or insect they saw along the way. So neat to see all the things they have come up with over the years :-)
~ Start a community garden that many can benefit from! Even if it's a container garden :-)
~ Clean up litter at locals parks, community, home, schools.
~ Instead of buying books, utilize your local library! Also do book swaps and give donations to others.
~ Carpool when able and ride a bike when you can and very importantly educate your children every day and encourage them to ask questions!
"To see a world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour" William Blake
A great site for kids that has lots of information and learning resources as well as learning videos is Time for Kids. Please click the link to explore this site and share with children of all ages!
Kathleen's sweater with the message of HOPE and her single beautiful flowers serve as a reminder that we can all make a difference, no matter how small. To give back each and every day and to enjoy all the beauty that surrounds us; and to take the time to truly appreciate it!
"And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, find tongues in trees, books in running brooks, sermons in stones and good in everything" William Shakespeare
What will you and your families be doing to celebrate and give back daily? :-) Happy Earth Day!!