Here at Modern Kids Design, we get pretty excited about Earth Month. A whole month to think about the environment and eco-friendliness? Yes, please! And we have an idea we hope you’ll like.
Earth Day began 46 years ago thanks to US Senator Gaylord Nelson, though he certainly wasn’t alone in his desire to create a day for celebrating the Earth and honoring the environment. Now, the month of April has become known as Earth Month as more organizations focus on conservation throughout the month. But what if we took it further? How about committing to Earth Year?
The idea is simple: Every month, make one small change to impact the environment. Each small step adds up and before you know it, you’ll have new (or additional) Eco-friendly habits. So how about it? Are you ready to pledge to do an Earth Year?
April 2016: Skip The Bottled Water
Bottled water has been getting a bad rap—and it’s well deserved. The waste and accumulation of plastic alone is astonishing.
Consider getting yourself and the kids water bottles so you aren’t tempted to buy the bottled stuff.
May 2016: Keep Those Reusable Bags Handy
Does this sound familiar: You bought a cute (or several cute) reusable bag(s) with the intent of completely ditching plastic or paper—but you sometimes forget to use it or leave it at home. This month, commit to getting the most use out of your bags and keeping them where you’ll remember to use them. Store some in the trunk for grocery shopping and consider keeping one in your purse for small shopping trips.
June 2016: Try Green Pest Control
The weather is beautiful, but those ants prefer to creep into your house. Or maybe you have a colony of wasps that enjoys hanging by your deck or mosquitoes that target the kids. Whatever the pest, there’s a green pest solution. Why not give one a try? Fewer chemicals sprayed in your house or on the kids—sounds good? We shared a simple recipe for natural insect repellent as well as info on insect repelling plants in an earlier blog post.
July 2016: Visit The Farmer’s Market
If you aren’t already visiting your local farmer’s market, make the trek this month! It’s worth it! Local, sustainably grown produce is a treasure. Some markets even feature other vendors like small bakeries and chocolatiers. Supporting the local artisans and growers in your community not only helps your neighbors and the environment, it also puts some yummy treats on your table.
August 2016: Use More Reusable Dish Cloths and Napkins
Paper napkins and paper towels are easy, thus their popularity. Unfortunately, they also take a toll on the environment. Investing in organic cloth napkins and dishtowels can help you reduce the amount of paper waste your family creates. They’re easy to wash and can be used for every cleaning task.
September 2016: Place a Recycling Can in your Bathroom
Most of us have a recycling bin in the kitchen. After all, most of our recyclables end up there at some point or another. But what about all those plastic bottles from shampoos and body washes that are sitting in the bathroom? Many times they get tossed because taking them to the kitchen to rinse and recycle feels like a nuisance. Placing a small recycling bin in the bathroom can increase the likelihood of all your recyclables making it into the blue bin. Let your family know it’s there and watch the toilet paper tubes and empty bottles collect!
October 2016: Consider a Meatless Meal
Did you know that eating less meat can have an impact on the environment? Consider adding some meatless grub to your menu to help cut back on greenhouse gases from livestock. A lentil salad with portabella mushrooms can be just as filling!
November 2016: Say No to Junk Mail!
How much of your mail goes directly into the recycling bin? Take a moment to get your name removed from any mailing lists you don’t wish to be on. Check mail for information about unsubscribing and add your name to these websites to be removed from their databases: Direct Marketing Association and Opt Out PreScreen, for those unwanted credit card offers.
December 2016: Upcycle! Reuse Items for Decorations and Gift Giving
The holiday season, while a time of love, family, and giving, also leads to a lot of paper waste. Consider upcycling items you already have around the house to make decorations and giftwrap. It can be a fun activity for the kids to do and one that can also be used for birthdays.
January 2017: Insulate
Most likely, you’re already turning off the lights when you leave a room to conserve power. But what about the other ways energy is seeping from your home? Save energy (and money) this winter by ensuring you’re properly insulated. Make sure the heater is insulated and check doors and windows for drafts.
February 2017: Unplug Unused Devices
Phantom power isn’t the name of the latest superhero—it’s what’s going into your phone charger when it’s plugged into an outlet but not your phone. Think of all the electronics you have that are plugged in but not being used. They are all using phantom power. Consider keeping your electronics on a simple surge protector with a switch so you can easily turn off the phantom power or turn it on when you need it. Alternatively, only plug in chargers when you need to use them.
March 2017: Commit to Green Cleaning!
It’s Spring Cleaning time—this month, why not try to reduce the number of chemicals you use to clean your house and opt for natural cleaners? If you aren’t ready to make your own or clean with natural ingredients, then replace any chemical cleaners with plant-based cleaners that specify all their ingredients. That way, you’ll know what you’re putting on your floors and countertops.
We’re excited to not only work these small resolutions into our own special Earth Year, but to also teach our kids how important it is to be mindful of the impact we have on the environment. After all, we only have one Earth.
How are you celebrating Earth Month? If you have any tips you’d like to share or ideas for future posts, we’d love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, thanks for reading!