Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22nd. It’s hard to believe that it began 39 years ago. There were so many great accomplishments created from that first Earth Day, including the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency later in 1970. But should we wait for that one day to arrive each year to celebrate? No way! There are plenty of things we can do all year long to live greener lives and leave a more shallow carbon footprint.
First I have to admit- I am certainly not boasting about being the greenest mom in town. However, I am trying to make little changes for my family all the time and I feel we’ll get there eventually. We participate in the more obvious activities like community recycling, energy conservation & reusable grocery bags, but I am trying to take it a step further and do more. As you already know, my family carpools together every day. Not only does it put one less car out in the traffic, it increases our family together time. We talk, play games, and when it’s dark in the winter months on the commute home, we will watch an occasional DVD. We pack lunches every day in reusable containers and our drinks in reusable bottles. My cooking is better than the local fast food; it’s a big money saver, and helloooo…no car to drive to get there. We wash a few extra dishes, but it’s so much better than wasting all the baggies, tin foil and plastic wrap.
With Spring here and daylight savings time in effect, the extra sunlight in the evening is a HUGE bonus. We get home, open up all the blinds and let the natural light in until the sun goes down. I start cooking dinner without the need for extra lights and Baby can sit at the kitchen table and color or work on a simple craft. No need to turn on the TV the minute we walk in the door to see/hear the news. We listen to it in the car on the way home. Why turn off our lights for only one minute when we can get away with almost a full hour!
I have also started changing some of my household items to greener versions. I recently ran into an old college friend working for Sun and Earth. I was lucky enough to try some of their products and now love them. They have everything from dishwashing liquid to all purpose cleaners. They are natural, non toxic products, and safe for use around my children. (which is one of the most important things for me as a mom) Oh, and they smell like fresh oranges! Gotta love that!
Even though I am trying to do things all year round, I still would like to celebrate tomorrow with Baby. I think it’s important to start teaching her what we can do together to protect her future environment. I found some fun crafts to do tomorrow evening (in the day light at the kitchen table) and we plan to attend the Conservation Celebration this weekend at our local Elmwood Park Zoo. I also found activities like playing this, checking out this, celebrating like this, going to see this, making this and subscribing to this that we can (and you can) do.
So get out there and celebrate Mother Earth this week! Make a plan to see what changes you can slowly make because all the changes we make as individuals add up! How do you plan to celebrate Earth Day? If you want to see what’s going on in your area or where you can participate in an event, check out the Earth Day Network. I am sure you will find something fun. If not, you can always meet us at the zoo!