Earth Day is April 20, but as Girl Scouts who use resources wisely and LOVE green – we should celebrate all year-long! Check out these five easy tips to show our Earth some TLC. They could also kick off some good habits in your family! You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to be greener.
Make a recycling plan!
This could be as easy as purchasing a special bin for recyclable materials, and being intentional to USE it.
Obviously some education and research will go into making this a success, so make sure to talk about what CAN be recycled and what CAN’T. This could even spark some conversation and awareness of the items that your family uses that are not recyclable. Talk about alternatives!
Make sure to talk about the plastic recycling numbers, and which ones your area takes. You can even make an activity out of sorting and taking all the recyclables to the center!
Plant a tree
Maybe this sounds intimidating because it involves a) your lack of gardening skills, and b) keeping something green alive, but push those both aside momentarily for a teaching moment.
Find a really old tree and talk about how it got that way. Where do you think the seed came from? Did someone plant it?
What about the trees in your yard? Are there a lot, or only a few? What good things do they do for the world besides providing shade? Why do trees get chopped down?
Give up bottled water
Maybe you just panicked a little inside at the loss of convenience, but we promise the Earth just let out a huge sigh of relief.
(Besides, one little reusable water bottle is WAY easier to tote to your car than a bulky flat of bottled water.)
Every member of the family gets their own bottle – maybe everyone’s is a different color or pattern – and commits to using it. Bonus: if you get a 32 ounce bottle – fill it twice, and there’s your daily water consumption!
Drink bottled water because your tap water tastes funky? Maybe it’s time to invest in a water-filtration pitcher!
Buy and eat local
Explore the benefits and challenges of going local – how to local cooks get what they need? How far does a farmer’s food travel to reach a table?
Choose 10 foods in your house – maybe eggs, cheese, lettuce, or fruit. Does your family buy them from local sources? If not, make a list of places to get these foods or alternatives from local sources.
You could also try making a dish using only locally-grown ingredients, or go to a farm-to-table restaurant. Talk about what’s in season, and why you can’t have strawberries in the dead of winter.
Also, it’s almost farmer’s market season! Visit a market and let your senses go wild. Talk with farmers about what they do, and the challenges they face. This is a good place to eradicate stereotypes and widen young minds – and eat some delicious produce.
Plant an herb garden
Chances are, when you need some fresh basil or rosemary for a recipe, you only use half of it before it goes bad. What if you could step outside and just snip some off a basil plant instead? How could you eat more locally than THAT?!
Herbs and are among the easiest plants to grow, and can be grown in space-saving containers!
Check out some of the easiest ones, and get the whole family involved! Take turns watering and checking their progress! When there’s enough growth, pick a recipe to make together that uses your locally-grown thyme or sage!