Earth Day is one of my favourite days of the year. There aren’t any gifts required, there aren’t any big fancy meals, there are no mythical characters – the day is all about celebrating our beautiful planet. This year is the 25th anniversary of Earth Day in Canada – Earth Day was “born” when I was 15 years old. Earth Day feels like my celebration. Over the years I have involved my daughters in many Earth Day scavenger hunts, Earth Day picnics and hikes. To me the best part of Earth Day is getting outside and enjoying nature. This year we will be heading out for a walk and we will also be taking an Earth Day 3R’s Pledge.
One of the greatest developments to come out of the Earth Day and environmental movement of the late 80’s and early 90’s was the 3 R’s. You know reduce, reuse and recycle. So simple, memorable and now part of our everyday vernacular. This year I decided that as a family we needed to refocus on the 3 R’s – sometimes we can lose sight of the most important things. I sat down with my girls and we talked about what the 3 R’s mean to them and to our family. We created a 3 R’s pledge – things we would pledge to do in our house in the coming year. Here is what we came up with.
Reduce – Our city has a fabulous waste management system. Our city picks up and properly disposes of our garbage, recycling and compost…right from the end of our driveway. All we have to do is sort is and our waste is carted off. Unfortunately, this means that we have lost sight of the end game. Where is all that trash going? Yes, it’s disposed of properly – but it has to go somewhere. Our family goal is to reduce our garbage output. We have a city regulated large garbage can – this year we are going to reduce our garbage can size to a medium can (the city only allows homeowners to dispose of what is inside the city garbage can). We will be moving from a can that accepts 3 garbage bags to 1 1/2 garbage bags…half the size. We pledge to find ways to reduce the garbage we take in to our home and put out.
Reuse – My girls have reached the age where they are no longer playing with piles of toys. We have downsized our toy collection substantially. What we haven’t downsized is our collection of books…yikes we have a lot of books. This year we pledge to find homes for our beloved children’s books. Some we will keep, but most we will donate. I have been planning on donating to the Children’s Book Bank, here in Toronto for years. Well, this is the year we make a BIG donation. It will be hard to let go of some of our books, but knowing that they are going to good use will help ease the separation pains.
Recycle – This one is a little bit harder…we are pretty good at recycling at home. We talked about this one for a while. Where we seem to make an improvement is when we are outside our house. You know when you eat out and there isn’t a recycling bin…all you can do is put all your garbage in the trash can – even though you know some of it is recyclable. Man, that always stings me. What can we do? This year we pledge to choose to eat at establishments that recycle and if they do not, then we will try our best to take our recyclables to a recycling can close by. This one is going to be tough, but diverting recyclables from the landfill is fundamental…if it can be recycled, it should be recycled.
Okay, that is our 3 R’s pledge. Reduce our garbage output. Reuse our children’s books by passing them on to children who will love to read them. Make better recycling choices when we are outside of our house. So, what will you pledge this year? Will you have this discussion with your family and see what you changes you can commit to making? Happy Earth Day!
Today’s post is part of the Natural Parenting and Earth Month Blog Hop that is taking place on over 20 blogs. All month long the Natural Parenting and Earth Month Blog Hop has been covering a variety of topics; ways to detox your home, green pregnancy and motherhood ideas, natural food and gardening ideas, green baby ideas and much more. There is also a fantastic giveaway taking place with the Natural Parenting and Earth Month Blog Hop. Be sure to check out the giveaway and enter for a chance to win an eco-friendly prize.
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