For those of you who are old enough, you’ll remember Kermit the Frog singing “It Ain’t Easy Being Green.” I hear variations of this phrase a lot as I’m out and about and want to focus my Reno Moms Blog contributions on the fact that it really is easy being Green!
One of my partner organizations, the Alliance for Climate Education, has a catch-phrase that I adore: What’s your DOT? DOT stands for Do One Thing (to help save the environment). Each of my blogs will suggest ideas for going green. As you read, make a commitment to doing one new green thing – then add more things as you gain confidence. Include your little ones and make these green teachings part of their daily lives; before you know it, being green will be second nature and they’ll be living and walking proof that it really is easy being green!
Here are a few ideas:
- Think green for birthdays and other festivities. Today is my daughter’s fifth birthday and in our house, birthdays rate higher than any other holiday in the year. We’ve got decade old decorations – some of which are handmade – that we carefully tape up, peel down, and store with every birthday. Reusing is one of the most important, and often times easiest, tenants with being green. My mom unwraps her presents carefully and then reuses the wrapping paper. We also have gift-bags and bows that have been circulating throughout the family for 30+ years! As you prepare for birthdays and other gift-giving occasions in your house, think of how you can be environmentally conscious. Can you wrap the present in something usable? At my last baby shower, one of my girlfriends wrapped her gifts to me in baby blankets. Totally cute, totally usable, and totally environmentally friendly. Another one of my friends never wraps her kid’s birthday presents; she hides them throughout the house and the birthday prince/ss has the added fun of finding their treats. Her kids love it!
- Bring a reusable bag when you go shopping. This even includes shopping for clothes, shoes, or home décor – think beyond the grocery store! Do you have reusable bags but are constantly forgetting them at home or in your car? Check out the FREE resource from Conserving Now. This dynamic Reno-grown Mom and daughter duo noticed how many people forgot their reusable bags; they provide a free static window cling that you can place on your car window to remind you to grab your bags before you leave your car or house. You can also enlist your kids to help you remember your reusable bags: kids love responsibility and if you make them “in charge” of reusable bags, they’ll rise to the challenge. Conserving Now also sells these awesome bags called Omnisax that roll up super small (I keep mine in my purse so I never forget the bags), they each hold like 40 pounds of groceries, they go in the washer and dryer, and they’re really gorgeous! There are so many styles to choose from; my kids each chose their own. Oh, and if you’re looking for something to wrap a present in, the Omnisax make fabulous wrappings!
- Grow your own food or buy locally. Plant a garden with your kiddo; as the saying goes, “More than a seed is planted in a garden.” It’s almost scary how many children don’t know where their food comes from. They also have no idea how much energy and work it takes to grow, transport, store, and prepare their food. Show them and experiment together; radishes, snow peas, cherry tomatoes, and pumpkins are all fun crops to try. If you don’t have the option to grow, try buying your food locally. As Jenny blogged here, there are some amazing Farmer’s Markets that are local. Not only are the fruits and veggies yummy and the outing is fun, but you’re doing something that’s good for the environment! Why? When you buy produce from out of state – or out of country, yikes! – the amount of CO2 that goes into the air just to transport the produce is abysmal. Plus, you have no idea what kind of pesticides they use and you’re supporting local farmers, which is good! My kids love the samples and getting to choose their favorites when we visit a Farmer’s Market.