Sunday, April 22, 2012

Top 10 Ways to Make the Earth Greener {Earth Day ideas}

Happy Earth Day!

This year, Earth Day kind of sneaked up on me. Regardless, I am all about making the earth a better place to live for my kids, so I thought I would share some fun ways that you can make your community, home and earth a little better.

Each of these activities can be done with children as well, which makes them that much more awesome. If we don't teach our children to help keep the earth cleaner, who will?

Anyways, onto my list. A few are my own ideas, the rest come from Earth Day Canada website, where they also have a sweet free calendar with each day having an earth day activity on it. You can find that Freebie Here.

My Top 10 ways to make the Earth Greener: 

1. Get involved in recycling. I am sure a lot of people do this already, but I want to focus more on teaching my kids about the purpose behind recycling and show them items that we use everyday because someone has recycled. Set up a station where your kids can put the different items to be recycled and when it is recycling day, have them help you take it out.

2. Get and Use a Library Card. My son LOVES to read and I love that. However, buying books gets expensive! Most libraries (like Edmonton Public) will give free ones to kids. That's an easy way to opt out of having to pay renewal fees.
SOURCE: Edmonton Public Library
Plus as you can see from the above image of Edmonton Public Library Cards; they aren't just for old people anymore. The library has a new campaign, by Donovan Creative (my dream job FYI) that shows all the possibilities that a library card can hold. My favorite is "I'm an Information Ninja".

Aside from their cool new logo and library cards, Edmonton Public Library and most other libraries I think, have fun kid friendly events; book readings, movie outings, and playgroups too. To be honest, I could go on and on about the library's awesomeness for quite a while!

3. Clean your Local Park. When your done, admire your work and have a picnic! All you need is a few big garbage bags, gloves and away you go! It's fun and easy for your kids to be involved in too.

4. Plant a Garden. This is our first year to plant a garden in our new home and the whole family is excited. There are a lot of online resources for how to plant one, regardless of where you live. If you can't plant one, then there are community gardens, you can get involved in as well. Planting a garden is so great for kids in so many ways; teaching healthier eating habits, where food comes from, and responsibility {weeding}.

5. Use Pencil Crayons. A little known fact, I just learned myself, is that crayons take at least a century to decompose! Who knew! Personally, I prefer pencil crayons anyways, they seem to color smoother.

6. Save Energy by: keeping unused items unplugged {phone chargers, stereos etc} when not in use, keeping the lights off during daylight hours as well as when you are not in that room, use cold water for laundry, and much more. Check out Guelph and Government websites for 100s of more ideas.

7. Think about your Water Consumption. How can you use less? Ideas such as; not running the dishwasher or clothes washer until  they are full, and collecting rain water for your garden are just a few ideas. More can be found here and here. Tell your kids why we need to conserve water, information is power!

8. Use re-usable bags for groceries. We all know this, but I think we need to let our kids in on why we use them. For ideas, check out the site Re-Use This Bag. For preschool aged children, like mine, these ideas can seem a little bit to hard to understand. However, you can show videos about the effects of pollution, and talk about how plastic bags can cause some animals, like birds, to choke.

9. Have a Clothing Swap. It's cheap, fun and a great excuse for a play-date! Use your other worn out clothes for cleaning rags.

10. Make crafts from items around your home. This is more geared to kids, but it is also a great way to save money on activities for kids to do. Check online, or the library for books with kids crafts.

I found this great quote when collecting the information in this list, I think it sums up why we should work harder to make our Earth better:

"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors;
 we borrow it from our children" 
~Native American Proverb

What are you going to change?

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