Posts tagged Environmental
Two years ago I committed to “give” every day for one year. I did this to teach my 3 year old son the importance of giving and to inspire people to give more in their lives.
Two years later and only a few new posts after completing our 365give journey my husband and I have adopted two more children. Every moment of my day is now dedicated to giving back to my family.
This week VancouverMom wrote an article that has inspired me to find the time to write again. Along with Earth Day fast approaching- April 22, 2013 – this post is all about giving back to our planet. VancouverMom in partnership with SPUD.ca is looking for Vancouver’s Greenest Family. When you have a large family ( we are 7 plus 2 dogs) you have to consider the carbon footprint you make every day. We make choices in our family on a day to day basis to make a positive impact on the environment. After completing 365 “gives” I came to realization that many of our daily gives were giving back to the planet. We have started to teach our 2 year old many of these green lessons and our 1 year old will soon follow.
365give Top 10 Ways to Give Back to the Planet.
Just follow the link for a full post on each daily give and you too can change the world one day at a time.
Walk, walk and walk some more. We committed to being a one car family a long time ago. The one car we do have is an eco-friendly car (a 7 seater at that!) and we walk, bus and bike our way around our neighbourhood, to work and to school. This give will help you discover your carbon footprint by using alternative methods of transportation. We saved .52 tons of CO2 by just walking to complete our daily activities instead of driving. What about you?
My Bag and Me is still one of my son’s favourite stories and is fast becoming his younger brothers. This story is about a boy that brings a shopping bag to the grocery store and how it helps the planet one bag at a time. During our year of giving we brought bags with us shopping to Whole Foods. With every bag we bring and fill with groceries Whole Foods donates 10 cents to a local charity. We calculated a donation of over $50.00 that year and we helped the planet one bag at a time. Giving at it’s best!
I have 3 boys and I can only imagine the number of running shoes we will go through in the coming years. Not only have I kept my oldest son’s shoes to reuse for his younger brothers but when they are truly worn out including my own and my husbands we bring them to a Nike Store. Nike’s Reuse a Shoe Program turns old shoes into playing courts for kids to use again and again.
This green give featured a book called How to Reduce your Carbon Footprint: - 365 ways to save energy. I soon realized we were doing many of them. Find the Top 5 every day things my family has implemented including composting, recycling, reusing, energy conservation and more.
I wish I lived somewhere that I could hang my laundry to dry outside but Vancouver happens to be a very wet place most of the year and my area of town does not allow laundry lines in your yard. I researched what my best alternative may be to do our families laundry as eco-friendly as possible. First step cold water washing and second the Laundry Ball. When you do up to 8 or 10 loads of laundry a week like we do this gadget really makes a difference. Read on how you can do your laundry with a little less guilt.
I have a dirty secret. I like to garbage pick. I don’t mean dumpster diving for food but finding items for free that others have discarded and turning them into something usable. I shop almost exclusively at second hand stores for my children or on the Craigslist. I believe there is so much “stuff” already out there for kids that there is no need to by new all the time. But my true passion is finding an item that someone may have left outside their home with a sign “free” on it. I pick it up and restore it. I have done it again and again with furniture and toys. Just a little elbow grease and maybe a paint job and you have a brand new item. Take a look at the before and after pictures of a toy cabinet I still use to this day. You know the saying “someone else’s garbage is another’s treasure.”
This recipe is simple. It’s called grow your own food. You can do it in pots, in your garden, in your window sill – where every you can in your home. If you need the official recipe follow this give to see the impact growing your own food makes on the environment. If you can teach a child this environmentally friendly practice you will have made an impact on them for their life.
When you get on a roll to give every day you discover ways that can give not only once but twice in one act. Donating your bottles that can receive a deposit back is one simple and effective way to give. It gives to the planet by recycling and gives to charity by donating them. In one year alone we recycled over $150 worth of bottles, juice boxes, milk cartons and donated the money to charity. Take a look around your neighbourhood and see if their is a charity drop box you can give to.
If you have children in your life there are never enough activities to keep them busy on a rainy day. This idea came to us when I came across the site Be Straw Free. Did you know that over 500 million disposable straws are used every day? Enough to fill 46,400 large school buses a year. My son and I came up with a great way to use straws to create fun art projects. Take a look and see what other ideas you could come up with to reuse straws for creative good.
This is an easy and fun way to teach your children – even at the ripe old age of three – the connection between our planet and keeping it clean. We are in full blossom in Vancouver right now so it’s time to get out and walk with your child. Stop and smell the flowers. While you are there pick up some garbage in your community at the same time. Smelling cherry blossoms and picking up someone’s stray plastic bag will remind you it’s worth keeping our planet clean and healthy.
Our environmentally friendly practices don’t stop here. There are many daily “gives” including water conservation, eating organic foods, saving electricity and more that we do every day. (Day 7, Day 10, Day 25, Day 159, Day 204, Day 222 and more) 365give was a great project for our family to inspire us to give in so many ways and giving back to our planet was one of our favourites. No matter how busy your family is teaching our children the value of being environmentally friendly has to be a priority.
A special thanks to VancouverMom for inspiring me to write about giving back to our planet and reminding our family of how we do give every day.
If you have any ideas you practice in your family please share them with us so we to can bring them into our daily lives.
I beleive it is the the next generation that will make a huge positive impact on our planet. Children are being taught at home and in school from an early age how they can treat the planet with respect and kindness. I personally started teaching my son at the age of 2 and now at the age of 4 he can tell you 10 ways to help protect our earth and practices them in his daily life.
What better way to celebrate Earth Day than to get the next generation involved with their Top 12 Ways to save the planet every day. The children of the world can teach us wonderful things if we take the time to listen.
Top 12 Way To Help the Planet by the elementary children of Eagle Habour Montessori School.
- Re-use materials as much as possible.
- Don’t waste food. Don’t buy so many groceries.
- Stop littering to protect the environment- oceans, plants, animals.
- Stop polluting.
- Conserve water-turn taps off/use less water/don’t have so many baths.
- Save electricity- turn off tvs/computers/lights
- Take care of plants and animals-limit trees chopped down and use both sides of the paper!
- Don’t need so many toys! Make our own toys.
- Don’t make so many plastic bag factories. If you drop plastic bags in the ocean, turtles might think they’re jellyfish and eat them.
- Use cars less. Walk instead of driving.
- Re-use ziplock bags.
- Don’t make so many factories.
What if there was a way to shop twice as much and help the planet?
Day 349: Give 349
My husband calls me cheap. I call myself a value shopper. Before I make a purchase I always ask myself a few key questions.
1) Is the purchase helping the planet or adding to it’s distruction?
2) Will it harm me or my family (how toxic is the item)?
3) Will it add more waste to our already overfilled landfills?
4) Does the company I am purchasing from give back with the purchase? (one for one to charity like Tom’s Shoes or a portion of the sale going to charity)
5) Is it a really good deal! (on sale, deep discount, FREE!)
I needed two new items this weekend – a stroller and a dresser for my sons room. My husband and I hit a few stores to check out styles and pricing. He found the exact stroller that had all the gadgets to suit our needs and wanted to buy it on the spot. It would have cost us $400! The dresser – another $300. Money I would much rather give to charity.
I told him we would wait and I would go shopping on one of my favourite sites for both items.
The Craigslist. If you are not familiar with the Craigslist you need to take a look. You can search by your city as they have them all over the world. It is a free online classified site where you can buy what you need or sell what you want to get rid of. (let’s avoid the landfill!) You can find a house to a car to a pair of shoes. When it comes to kids gear it is the best place to look. As fast as we buy the gear for our kids we are ready to get rid of it as kids move to a new stage of their life or it just wasn’t the perfect item for your needs after all.
What I love about the Craigslist is it is the perfect place to reuse an item.
Do we really need one more brand new stroller in the world that will one day get dumped into a landfill and never decompose?
Have you ever thought of all the toxins that come off a new stroller and into your child’s body?
My search began and in just minutes I found exactly what I wanted:
The matching dresser to go with my son’s bed ($120 no tax vs $300 with tax)
The stroller my husband wanted in the store (just 4 months old barely used). ($100 no tax vs $400 with tax)
Savings: Over $500
The next time you decide you need to make a purchase go check out 3 of my favourite sites for shopping. It will save you money and save the planet.
Time Commitment: 1 hour longer than buying it in the store
Cost: I saved over $500 (taxes included) by buying second hand