April is Earth Month. Really, we think every month should be Earth month, or Earth year, or Earth day. It's the planet we live on and our children live on, after all. But we'll take the designated Earth Month and any other opportunity we can to share a conversation about this precious planet and refocus ourselves on living sustainably. Here are some simple ways to celebrate the Earth and share our appreciation of Mama Nature with our children:
- Grow a garden. Not only will your kids love chomping on fresh veggies right out of the garden, but it really is something you can enjoy all summer long -- from the digging of the dirt, to planting, watering, and watching things grow -- it's pure childhood magic! Plus, eating locally grown doesn't get much more local than your backyard.
- Plant a tree - good for the land and the air! And create some shade while you're at it.
- Take a walk, run, bike ride, skip, etc. instead of hopping in the car. You get to hold hands too instead of smiles in the rearview mirror. Put those sneakers to use, get some exercise, soak in some vitamin D, and save on fuel and the carbon emissions.
- Wear merino! Of course we have to list this ;). But truly, as a natural fiber, merino wool comes from nature and will return to nature. At the end of its life, merino fibers can biodegrade in approximately 9 months, compared to its synthetic imitators which take 30-40 years! Merino is also naturally anti-microbial, so it doesn't hold in odor like synthetics can -- which means less washing is required and another win for Mama Earth.
- Line dry clothes. Save on that energy bill, be gentle on your clothes, and let that breeze do all the work. Plus if you're wearing merino as outlined in #4, they'll dry super fast too thanks to the quick drying nature of the wondrous fabric. (If you don't have the space for line drying, note that our merino is tumble dry low-able too;).
- Compost. If you're not brave enough to compost yourself (we aren't!), check with your local trash & recycling service to see if they offer a compost collection. Denver made it easy for us to cut our waste down, which only requires us to pay a little extra and then simply separate out organic material like yard debris, food scraps and non-recyclable paper and place them in a different bin instead of the trash. The organic material collected is sent to a commercial facility where it gets turned into a high quality soil amendment known as compost. Our kids are even in the habit already of composting and recycling, and habits like this last a life time.
- Avoid using single use plastics. Let's cut down, or cut out altogether, our reliance on things like straws, water bottles, plastic food wrapping, etc. that only get used once and then end up in the trash. We started using these bee's wraps for food storage instead of plastic -- they're cute too!
- Purchase carbon offsets. Every year, we calculate our carbon footprint for our home and business energy use, and then purchase carbon offsets from TerraPass. The carbon offsets are used to fund renewable energy projects and capture greenhouse gases.
- Hike in the mountains, splash in the ocean, walk in the woods, frolic in the fields. Nothing stirs up an appreciation of the Earth like getting outside and enjoying the natural beauty of the world. When we share this with our children, we can't help but think that they'll continue leading us on this journey to celebrate and protect this planet we get to be a part of.
We're always looking for ways we can do more -- we'd love to hear your ideas that you share with your family!
Pictured above: "Here we Are, Notes for Living on Planet Earth" by Oliver Jeffers, sneakers Smallbirds Wool Runners (yes, shoes made out of merino!), and merino wool short johns for sleep and play by yours truly.