By Guest Blogger Kristen Daukas with Ten to Twenty Parenting
At some point of your parenting tenure, this scenario is going to happen to you:
You’re in the kitchen, rushing around doing your end of day things. Getting dinner ready (if you know what you’re actually going to make), going thru the mail, sorting thru the endless stream of paperwork sent home by the school, cleaning out the clutter that is in your car (who knew you birthed an entire football team?!) and then, suddenly, you stop. You can feel the burn of their eyes boring into the back of your head. You turn around, only to see your precious offspring staring at you in disgust and out of their mouth comes the assault.
“Mom. You know you really shouldn’t be throwing those things into the trash. You should recycle them. And you know those really long showers that Daddy takes? Do you know how bad that is for the planet? And I went around the house and do you realize that WE DON’T HAVE A SINGLE CFL LIGHT BULB??”
You’ve just been served, Mom - by the junior “Go-Green” Police.
Yes. One person DOES make a difference and yes, it does take time to break bad habits. The good news is that you don’t have to do it all at one time. If you take on one small thing a month, by the end of the year you will have added twelve simple things to your routine to help save your Mother Earth, your sanity and the good reputation you’ve spent years building with your kids.
But where do you start? Earlier this year, the Piedmont Environmental Alliance devised this exact kind of 12 step guide to help busy families go “green”… one step at a time. Every month, they release a new step and give ideas on how to work it into your family’s day to day routine. Here are the monthly steps that PEA suggests:
January – Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.
February – Cold Weather Mediation = Lower Utility Bills
March – Conserve Paper and Remember its Roots
April – Give Back to the Planet
May – Travel Smartly
June – Warm Weather Savers
July – Purchase Wisely
August – Wash Without Waste
September – Back to Schoo
October – Your Voice, Your Vote
November – Bundle Up, it’s Getting Cold!
December – Conscientious Giving and Holiday Living
And the steps are EASY! Here are some of the ideas they have for April, which is “Give Back to the Planet”:
Green your garden and lawn: Plant a garden, use rain barrels, visit local nurseries, mulch your garden with FREE mulch from the city and more!
Help Children Connect with the Natural World: Go outside! Visit a local farm or garden. Pick strawberries!
Eat Local: Check out the local farmer’s markets (there are a few!), promise yourself that you’ll spend 10% of your food budget on buying from local farmers.
Celebrate Earth Day!
They’re easy, simple things that even the busiest families can do. You don’t have to do them all to make an impact. Just pick a few! Then, next month build on what you’re already doing and, before you know it – you will be living the life that your sweet offspring so want you to!
What kind of things do you do in your family to make a difference?