A – Assess Your Motivation – Thinking of making some changes in your life? Thinking about trying to live a little greener? What’s your motivation? Assessing your motivation can help you determine what your “first steps” down the new path might be. The easiest way to assess your motivation is to make a quick list. What are 3 things in your family’s life right now impact the environment and concern you the most? Could be your health and diet, could be a long commute to work, could be the mountains of trash that you throw away each week, could be the mountains of plastic toys that you store every day, or it could simply be curiosity. Whatever your family’s motivation to change might be it truly is the place to start.
C – Compost and Camping – Okay, I couldn’t help myself…two options for “c”. Compost is an easy one. If your city doesn’t collect compostable food items then creating your own backyard compost pile is fairly easy to do. Check out this post from Growing Green Fingered Kids for a little how-to. As for camping, well the easiest way to get kids to love and respect the Earth is to take them outside to explore it. Camping can seem overwhelming and yes there is some gear you will need. But, when you sleep outside in a tent you will feel like a kid again. If you can’t make to the nearest campground you can always camp in your own backyard. Pitch a tent, bring a book and a flashlight. Listen to the night sounds, examine the stars in the night sky and wake up with the sun. Camping creates a true connection with our environment and believe me, your kids will never forget your camping trip.
H – Harvesting – Speaking of growing a garden, don’t forget to get the kids out there harvesting the produce. Get those little fingers dirty harvesting and drying herbs and saving seeds from tomatoes for the next season’s crops. (check out the Pinterest boards : Edible Gardens & Lands and Gardening)
M – Metamorphosis – Last summer we grew our own butterflies! What an incredible experience that was. We purchased tiny (I mean pin head sized) caterpillars and watched as they metamorphosed into beautiful butterflies. Hands on interaction with nature is pure magic. The reality that some of our caterpillars did not survive and some of our butterflies were not “perfect” is an amazing life lesson for children. Nature is never perfect…we cannot expect perfection from ourselves either. I think that’s a pretty great lesson for kids and adults.