Posts tagged green
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.
If you haven’t heard of Alec Loorz and his mother Victoria you need to read and watch this now. Alec is a remarkable young person that is changing the world. But he wouldn’t be able to do it without his Mother. This is a story of a Mother that with unconditional love and support has started a global movement with her son that is changing the world. Alec’s story has been told many times from TED Talks to CNN to Congress, but this story is about a Mothers love that has given her son the encouragement he needed to change the world.
How has your Mother supported you in your life to achieve your goals and dreams?
Day 220: Give 220 guest writer Karen Somers
Where would we be without humanity’s most optimistic cheerleaders?
Mother’s Day honors the people who have, over the course of history, recognized the unique and special aspects of every member of the human race. In our mother’s eyes, when we were born, we were the keys to the universe. The open sesame that could change the world. In most cases, thanks to this quiet confidence, we have grown up and became responsible adult citizens leading a life of quiet contribution instead of the history-making harbingers of change our mothers were convinced we would become.
However, for California mom and parental cheerleader, Victoria Loorz, this motherly conviction has become a day-to-day reality. She is the mom of two wonderful kids, Alec and Olivia. Alec Loorz has become one of the most famous teen global warming activists on the planet. Their home in Ventura County is ground zero to a youth movement that is changing the face of environmental activism.
Changing the World at the Age of 12
After watching Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” when he was twelve, Alec, with Victoria’s help, created the non-profit organization Kids VS Global Warming to empower youth to lead the green revolution. Alec has become a nationally renowned keynote speaker delivering his own global warming presentation to tens of thousands of kids across North America. His numerous environmental awards have won him a spot as a presenter at the prestigious T.E.D. conference. Alec has addressed Congress, has most recently been featured in People magazine, Time, CNN, CBS Early Show, USA Today and the New York Times. Alec’s kid driven environmental projects include the creation and installation of beach markers along the California coastline to indicate how high the waterline will be when the glaciers melt. He wrote the “Declaration of Independence From Fossil Fuels”, got thousands of kids to sign and and presented the document to Congress. He has helped to create the California Climate Council for Youth to ensure that kids use their voices and their rights as citizens in the efforts made city to city, country to country, to curb global warming. Alec has recently designed the iMatter iPhone app to unite the efforts of youth activists around the world. It connects kids and their environmental initiatives globally.
A Mother’s Dedication
Did I mention that Alec is now just seventeen years old and that Victoria is a single mom? Just think about the logistics of getting your kid to class on time let alone getting him to the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen as a key note speaker while he is home schooled and preparing for an appearance on CNN? What about schlepping to the hundreds of speaking engagements and meetings necessary to galvanize a generation and give it a voice in the Global Warming fight? As remarkable as Alec is, none of this would have happened if his mother Victoria wasn’t there to support and encourage his efforts. I have worked with Alec and Victoria and have born witness to the incredible courage, unflagging energy and loving encouragement she has shown her uniquely driven son. She seems to know intuitively when to step up and sashay back in the dance that happens everyday in her home as Alec tests his mettle with politicians, international governments, the media, hundreds of environmental organizations and the ever present threat of global warming.
iMatter March: May 8th, 2011
This Mother’s Day marks the biggest event Alec has led. He, Victoria and sister Olivia have organized a global event, the iMatter March to rally youth and empower them to raise their voices and be recognized in the fight against global warming. The iMatter March has organized kids from Bangkok to Bucharest, Kathmandu to Canada, New York to New Delhi and around the world inspiring them to march on their respective town halls and declare that they matter in the fight against global warming.
“Youth have the moral authority and the legal right, as the generation most affected by the climate crisis, to demand that our governments protect the atmosphere for our future.” Alec Loorz
I chatted with Victoria this week. She was excited and exhausted after a very busy year of preparation. I asked her what she was thinking about as Mother’s Day approached and the “iMatter March” was about to launch.
“We hope that this is the beginning of a movement around the world that empowers kids to mobilize. We hope that the “iMatter March” is something kids will look back on as a moment that shifted them from apathy to activist. We hope that the “iMatter March” gives kids a united voice of empowerment that will last a lifetime.” Victoria Loorz
Kids versus the Government: The Lawsuit Begins
Next stop – Alec and the iMatter movement are organizing an international lawsuit – kids versus the government! In tandem with Our Children’s Trust and a coalition of awesome attorneys, youth around the planet are taking their respective governments to court to insist that they act as faithful trustees and put climate recovery plans into place. Victoria will be there every step of the way, lending support, love and raising a cheer as her son leads the next generation in the never ending fight against Global Warming.
Time Commitment Victoria Loorz: A Life Time plus
Karen Somers is a professional photographer and film-maker based in LA. She had the opportunity to meet Victoria, Alec & Olivia while shooting for the World Wild Life Foundation / Ranger Rick Magazine. Karen creates programming for film, TV and online focused on the betterment of humanity.