A little sea turtle stopped by for a friendly "Hi" on my recent trip to Hawaii. Sea turtles are at risk from trash (especially plastic) dumped into the ocean. Recycling helps the entire planet!
Happy Earth Day
“Adults say, ‘It’s great to have kids involved.
You are the future.’
We’re more than just ‘the future’. We’re the present.
We can make a difference now.
We don't have to wait until we're grown up.
Let’s work together now to change the world."
- Alec Loorz, 12, Kids Versus Global Warming
“Jeanna, don’t be a litterbug,” my Grandmother said as I tossed a gum wrapper on the ground. My 3 year old self didn’t even know what a litterbug was….but absolutely knew that I didn’t want to be called one ever again! My Maw Maw gently explained about the proper disposal of trash and how important it was to take care of the Earth. I’ve remembered that lesson my entire life and honor my Grandmothers memory every time I responsibly dispose of rubbish.
Our young generation is a force to be reckoned with, they have the ability to make a difference in our world. They have voices and know how to use them! It’s up to the adults in their lives to empower children and teach them to behave responsibly towards our planet. Here are a few easy ways you and your kids can save the planet.
1. Buy local or grow your own. Plan a day out to your local farmers market. You will find all sorts of amazing things there! From fresh fruits, flowers and vegetables to homemade items of all varieties. What great conversation starters….how does all the produce grow? Above ground, below, on trees or bushes? What does ‘organic’ mean? You might be lucky enough to come upon some food samples…what fun!
Alternately, you could also grow your own food at home. Start simple, tomatoes, lettuce and radishes are all easy crops to grow. If space is an issue, the above plants are easily grown in containers. Tomatoes plants are readily accessible while lettuce and radish seeds can be found in many stores in the spring. A container, some potting soil and a nice sunny spot are all that is needed to grow happy, healthy plants. Kids love to watch their plants grow and thrive.
2. Reuse, reuse, reuse! Be creative! My grandmother was the ultimate recycler, she never wasted anything that had even the slightest potential of being reused. She would wash her used aluminum foil, wad it up and give it to the grandkids to use as a ball. She saved toilet paper rolls, cut them in half and planted seeds in them for an early start to her spring gardening. Why not give your kids a challenge to think up innovative ways to recycle. I bet you’ll be surprised at the imaginative ideas they come up with.
3. Help animals. Set up a backyard Eden for local wildlife. Think of what they might need…food, water and habitat. Plant flowers for the bees or provide a bird bath and seed for the birds. It can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish. Here’s a simple activity to get you started, courtesy of The Green Guide for Kids website.
Make a Toad Abode. Get a medium-size clay pot and saucer. Fill the saucer with water and put it on the ground. Close by, put the pot upside-down with one edge propped up with a rock. This will give the toad enough room to fit inside his cozy “abode”. If you can find a broken pot that is missing a chunk then there will be no need to prop it up—all the better!
4. Learn about endangered species. When thinking about threatened animals, we might think of the gorilla, tiger or blue whale. You might be surprised to learn that North America also has many endangered animals. Among them are the black-footed ferret, red wolf, staghorn coral, sea turtle and California condor. Encourage your kids to research and learn about these animals because the first step to saving them is to understand their importance in the world.
It’s never too early to begin teaching our younger generation to have respect for the planet upon which we live. Young children may need your assistance and here is a link to a short blog that will give you ideas of ways to help younger children get started saving the environment. http://peaceinyourhome.com/5-ways-your-young-child-can-save-the-environment/
For older children, a great site is Kids For A Clean Environment (F.A.C.E.). You can join the FACE Club (not necessary to join to do activities). The site is easy to navigate, and has fun activities such as choosing your Mission…which consists of recycle, build or plant. Each category has an article about that particular subject and an icon titled “How can I help”. Click on the icon and a short list of simple steps kids can take to help the environment pops up. Here is the link for Kids F.A.C.E. http://www.kidsface.org/pages/newsletter/home.html
I’ll leave you with a quote from Native American healer, Lame Deer…….
Being a living part of the Earth, we cannot harm any part of her without also harming ourselves.
We must all see ourselves as part of this Earth, not as an enemy from the outside who tries to impose his will on it.
- Jeanna Billings
Jeanna Billings is an Animal Communicator serving an international clientele, a Reiki Master and a Certified Crystal Healer. She volunteered for many years with humane societies and animal rescues, serving as a Board Director, Adoption Counselor and Humane Educator. She currently teaches animal communication classes and provides private consultations. She lives in Indiana with her husband, three dachshunds, two cats and a very chatty parakeet. You can find her online at www.ShamansSpirit.net .