EarthDay Musings

How do you recognize earthday?  How do you infuse the values of reuse, reduce and recycle into your families everyday life?  Here are some ideas,  please respond with your own as well!

-Talk about why we carpool, bus, train etc

– Buy food in bulk, explain to your children why we don’t buy uber -packaged snacks and treats.  Stock up on small reuseable containers to portion out nuts, dried fruit and cereal snacks ahead of time.

-Train your kids to eat leftovers

-Keep a craft scrap box of leftover odds and ends to reuse into new craft projects. 

-We are part of an intentional sharing community (, where we swap clothing, toys, and equipment with other local families.  I periodically ask my son what is is ready to part with, what can go to “swap”?  If he wants a new toy, we figure out what he will give away to “swap”.  We did not have to buy any new equipment at all for our daughter because of this system of sharing and reusing. 

-Organize your own kid clothing swap with friends and neighbors

-Bring a small garbage bag on walks, pick up trash, plan a beach/park clean up day with your kids, offer prizes for those who collect the most garbage, or participate in an organized clean up effort in your community.

-Our intentional community also maintains a household goods library where you can check out items like food dryers, icecream makers, canning supplies, camping gear, party supplies, and dishes.  This way you do not have to store items you only use once a year, and everyone benefits by having access for a very minimal monthly fee.

-Another local resouce in North Portland is the Tool Library, same concept.  Residents can check out various tools for a week at a time for an optional donation.

-We keep a donation bag of random items for our local puppet company, who make puppets from recycled junk, like old CD’s, bike tire innertubes, boxes, tubes, wires, springs, spools, ropes, netting, parts from old plastic toys.  They hold open studios where kids come and make their own puppets, play with studio puppets, ask questions and find ingenious new uses for random things that have been donated or collected.   For calender of events and more info go to

-Keep a bag for thrift/Goodwill donations in each bedroom


-Keep chickens to lay eggs, and feed them your old leftovers

-Grow a vegetable garden, have your children help out with the process

-Grow natives, low maintenance plants in your landscaping, talk about why you are choosing various plants

-Collect water in a coverable rain barrel for summer watering

Above all, keep discussion alive with your children about the choices we make every day that contribute to sustainable living, ask your children to brainstorm ideas for recycling, reducing, and reusing.

What other ideas have you implemented in an effort to teach our children respect for the environment?

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