Today was Earth Day and I had signed on board as a “State Leader” for “B Kind 2 the Earth.” We were supposed to commit to doing something in celebration, and I had been pondering what to do all week. I ran through the list of obvious choices:
Teach the kids about recycling – Bug and Lady Bug have learned all about recycling in school and we recycle consistently at home as well. It’s so ingrained in their behavior that they seek out recycling bins when we’re out and about. In fact, Bug has been known to get quite upset when a recycling bin isn’t available, declaring, “They should recycle, Mama!” (NYC, take note. While Bug loved your city, he was very disappointed at the lack of recycling options).
Talk about saving energy and water – It isn’t the easiest lesson for preschoolers to remember, but my kids are intense about following rules like this. We had some friends over today for a small party and the kids were in and out of the house. Since the weather was nice, I left the porch door open. Lady Bug was none too happy, “Mama, someone keeps leaving the door open. They’re letting the cold air in!” I had to convince her that the weather was warm enough that we weren’t wasting energy. The kids are so zealous about turning off lights that they often do it while I’m still in the room!
Plant a garden, compost, etc. – I knew we were having friends over and considered the idea of planting some flowers or veggies with the kids. And then I remembered that we did that last spring… and I didn’t water them. We did it the year before, too… and I didn’t water those, either. The strawberries we bought last year got infested with white flies, and I simply got bored with my hard-to-kill rosemary plant (it’s dead). I have three hydrangea bushes that I have managed to plant and keep alive, but just barely. Plants aren’t my thing. Plus, the kids planted flowers at school (again – the flowers from last year died – don’t tell my kids!), so I already have plants to kill. Anything garden-related is out.
Teach them about Earth Day and why we celebrate – I gave the kids their “B Kind 2 the Earth” t-shirts and Bug explained how important it is to take care of our earth. Uh… check!
So, after worrying about this all week long, I had an epiphany this morning. Earth Day isn’t really about setting aside one day to do something special. It’s about raising awareness, educating ourselves and others, and making the little changes that make a big difference. We already do those things every single day. As our kids grow, we can certainly do more to make a difference, and there are still plenty of things we need to work on as individuals and a family, but we’re doing OK for Mother Earth. So, what did we do today? We had some friends over for a Easter Hex Bug party and the kids spent the day running around outside having a blast.
Did you do something special for Earth Day? If so, I’d love to hear it. I saw some great projects on the Facebook page that I’ll have to try out!