Earth Day is nearly upon us. As April 22, 2010 nears, consider what it would take to live a completely "green" life. While it may not be feasible to live every single day without cars or air conditioning or unnecessary packaging, what would happen if we chose just this one day to try? Take the opportunity to model an earth-friendly lifestyle for your children by trying something new for at least one full day. Here are some suggestions for some radical, but doable, one day changes.
Eat organic. This will most likely require some advanced planning and shopping. Most of the area Farmers Markets do not open regularly until May, but don't be afraid to check out the organic section of your grocer's produce section. (Don't forget the reusable shopping bags!)If it's not feasible to eat organic the whole day, try one great meal. Your kids will enjoy the variety.
Park the car. That's right, park it. Spend the entire day without the car. Try alternate transportation, such as The Metro, which is available throughout the Kansas City area. Take the family on a walk or a bike ride. Not using an automobile will reduce emissions in the atmosphere and the use of oil, a limited natural resource.
Generate no trash. Do not throw anything away. Consider the daily activities that generate trash. For example, what could you eat for lunch that would leave no trace? Eat off of regular dishes instead of paper plates. Drink water from the tap instead of a bottle of water. Instead of eating candy for a snack and throwing away the wrapper, eat an apple and compost the core. Use your newspaper as wrapping paper for a gift or add it to the recycle bin.
Plant a tree. It is hard to know what the weather will be like in Kansas City near the end of April, but let's hope it will be a beautiful spring day! Assuming the weather is on our side, Earth Day is an excellent day to add oxygen to the atmosphere and shade to your yard. My favorite store this time of year is Suburban Lawn & Garden. Visiting the location at 105th & Roe is a wonderful day-trip for families. Make memories with your children by planting a tree together.
Turn off the air conditioner or furnace. April is unpredictable when it comes to weather, but usually the temperatures this time of year are not extreme. Open the windows during the day and throw an extra blanket on at night. Reduce your family's usage of the earth's limited resources on Earth Day.
- Clean up your neighborhood. Gather your kids or a crew of helpers and pick up the trash that litters your block or your neighborhood.
Earth Day is important to increase awareness of the issues that plague the environment and the habitat the earth provides to its lucky residents. You don't have to change your entire life to care for the earth, but making small changes to your daily habits can have a big impact on the home we all share. Take this one day to try on a big change for size, and see what you think.
If you have other ideas to honor Earth Day 2010, please share them in a comment or by e-mailing Kansas City's Green Parenting Examiner.
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