Wordful Wednesday. Teaching Kids to Save the Earth.

We try to live an earth friendly life year round.

Little things that don’t seem like huge inconveniences to us, but that I know make a difference in the grand scheme of things.

We are sort of a big deal when it comes to recycling and I take pride in the fact that each week, we have more items going with the recycling truck than we do with the garbage truck.

When I was younger, “going green” wasn’t trendy or cool.  I remember hearing the term one day before I left home but after I was old enough to realize that I loved blowing the air conditioner with the windows down while driving in the Southern Californian sun, and I remember thinking, I’m not “going green”.  It sounds hard.  And lame.  And hard.

I don’t want a big rotting trash heap in my yard.  I don’t like the way the recycled notebook paper feels all soft.  And I hate how the recycled toilet paper feels all hard; I’d rather wipe my tail with that lame notebook paper!

It seemed like this big thing that was going to maybe prolong the already dying Earth, but royally ruin my quality of life.

I was, gasp, wrong.

And, I’m happy that The Dudes don’t even see the things we do now to conserve and reuse as special behaviors.  To them it’s just second nature.

Just yesterday, #3 dug a Ziploc bag out of his toy box and, in his best duh-Mom-do-you-even-know-anything voice said,”Hey, Mom. Don’t ya know we can reuse plastic bags. Is called recycling.”

Recycling, and using those funny shaped light bulbs from Ikea, and not running the water while they brush, and not using plastic bottles, and not littering (do you remember how littering was like okay in the 80s?!) is just a way of life.

A way of life that will hopefully make a difference in what kind of a planet we leave behind for the next generation.

One special thing we like to do every year is celebrate Earth Day.

I know, I know EVERY day is Earth Day.

Totally.  For sure.

We like to celebrate it as a sort of birthday party for the Earth though.  Maybe just because we love a good partay, or maybe it’s because we like to take that one special day to focus on the Earth in a way that we don’t necessarily do on other days.  I think it allows The Dudes to see that the Earth is special and should be celebrated in the same way you and I should be celebrated; with at least one special day that no one treats it like crap to focus on why we’re grateful for it.

This year, wondering through a local shop, I spied these awesome little things:

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They are called Seed Bombs and they were designed by someone who lives right here in my hometown (but you can buy them from his online shop, Lucy and Amelia).  They are an awesome way to pretty up urban areas because they are perfectly created to grow; just toss them into any open area and they boom!  They grow!  All they require is sunlight and water to make magic.

Perfect!

So we bought the ingredients to make some of our own.

Serious messy fun for The Dudes…

Serious easy way to bring some pretty to the Earth.

We made a bunch of them from our mix, and we threw them into this area on the side of our house that looks like it’s been a trash burning site for the past 20 years (side note: we do NOT burn our trash).  It desperately needed some TLC.

It’s great because the seeds in our bombs are Black Eyed Susans (the MD state flower) so they are a perfect match for our ecosystem.

I also came across this little terrarium that they make on my shopping trip and I thought it would be a perfect way to get some more flowers INSIDE of the house as well…

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So, I bought it too.  Natch.

And then, I decided to make one of my own!

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A little paint, on an empty metal can, topped with an empty jelly jar (I scrubbed the label off before we planted, promise) and voila!

Earth Day awesome even if they aren’t quite as adorable as the original version!

They are already growing and looking al Eco-Gangsta, just like me.

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What do you do to keep the Earth healthy, happy, and looking fly?

Nothing?  Shame!

Okay, I won’t judge you out loud as long as you go ahead and link up your Wordful Wednesday posts for the week!

Here are my faves from last week…

  • Cutest freakin’ baby photos. EVER.  At T.E. + Baby.
  • Fun-totally-making-me-jealous vacation shots from The Paper Mama.
  • Loving these splash shots at Love Bug blog reminding me that I can’t wait until it’s finally warm enough to do some splashing around here.
  • An awesome post about some life saving heroes at Ramblings from Utopia.

 

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Comments

  1. YAY! Love this – such a fab, fun idea!

  2. My three year old came home from preschool today with his first ever Earth Day project. He was so excited about it! It was super cute.

  3. That is amazing! And incredible messy. Great idea.

  4. You could call me a bit of an Eco-Freak… I make my own cleansers, laundry detergent and hand soap. I haven’t bought a roll of paper towels in 5 years, we compost, and up until this morning I thought my family was totally on board with me…until my 7 year old asked if he could have his sandwich in a plastic bag “like the rest of the kids”…! I agreed since he also he agreed to bring the bags home so that we can reuse them a few times. Good reminder for me to a) choose my battles and b) remember that fitting in is important when you’re a kid.

  5. I have the vaguest recollection of when littering was okay, but I definitely remember when recycling first “came out.” I love how it is completely second nature to my kids. They wouldn’t think of throwing paper or plastic away they know it goes in the recycling bin. I love that composting is becoming more common too. Not only at IKEA, but at my own work and a few other big corporations I see a recycling, a garbage and a compost bin in the lunch areas :-)

  6. What a great idea! Now I can put to use some of those glass jars I’ve been saving!

  7. Seed Bombs look like an awesome idea–thanks for sharing :) And beautiful post about our earth–thanks :)

  8. Those look like a lot of fun.. must pin and store away for the “when the dudes are older” board. :) We try to do as much as we can to keep the earth a bit greener from using reusable bags at the grocery store to using green cleaning products. We have switched out most of our lightbulbs to energy efficient ones although DH thinks these are just a plot to cough up more $$ since they seem to blow out more quickly. I am constantly nagging him to shut off the water when he is brushing his teeth—he still doesn’t do it. He thinks I’m a nut about being green and ever since the Lorax came out he calls me the Lorax. Sigh…I’m a big orange blob to him.

  9. that is freaking awesome! time for me to copy you! :)

  10. I am the queen of recycle. I once told my neice when she threw her pop can in the garbage that it wasn’t right. She then told me that her mom doesn’t recycle so I told her that her mom is killing the earth.
    They recycle now.

    • We have friends who never recycle and they throw out mountains of food as well. I’ll never challenge your claim to the throne, because when I am stressed I drop recycling rather early, but recycling is free (we pay for garbage). I hope to someday be the queen of”not leaving money on the table” anyway. I wish I could encourage them, but the whole discussion seems to come with an unspoken warning not to “judge”.

  11. Playing in dirt + helping the earth? Oh my goodness! It’s like a kids’ paradise! I am totally going to do this with my youngest.

  12. Growing up, I remember leaving the water on while brushing my teeth. But recycling? Was always a must do. In NY its against the law if you dont. So, I never knew any different. I would be shocked when people didn’t recycle.

  13. The terrarium is a really cute idea! But can we go back to the littering, please? I remember being in jr high and seeing the littering fine signs. Do we even have those anymore? It burns me up to see someone throw trash out of their car window, or walking down the street. Um, there’s gonna be a trash can at the next corner. You seriously couldn’t hold on to that? I had to say to a girl (a rather big girl, so my boldness is sometimes questionable) when she threw trash beside someone’s yard that that person would now have to come outside of their yard to clean up her trash. It doesn’t make sense. It’s like smokers who throw their butts on the ground. Leave that in your car and dispose of it properly. That’s one thing I’ve never understood. Saying I don’t want butts in my car is the equivalent of me not wanting butts all over the sidewalk. Senseless.

    We have a recycling bin in the house and the city picks up once a week with the trash. But once, the trash guys took both bins and I ran out all arm wavy like no no no, those plastic and glass things are NOT trash. Dummies.

  14. I go in waves with it, but I know I could be way, way, way better. In Michigan we had a mandatory recycling program for cans and bottles and it made a huge difference in awareness. I’ve gotten a bit lazy since I moved to NC because they don’t have that program. :(

    Love your seed bombs though, and the kids seemed to like them also!

  15. All the stuff Grandma did. Not using a disposable container when I have a reusable one. Using cut up T-shirts to clean instead of paper towels or weird disposable specialty…paper towels. Share clothing with others or donate it to thrift. Consignment shopping for clothing when possible.

    We use earth friendly cleaning and personal care products, which Grandma may have had, but not in the variety we do. Recycling has become SO much easier since our community implemented free curbside recycling and provided containers.

    I hate all the plastic bags that come home from the store and want to start using reusable shopping bags. But I can’t remember them. to. save. my. life.

    • It gets easier to remember the reusable bags, Maggie; you just have to develop a reminder/system for yourself. For me (and I still sometimes forget), it was putting the bags in the front seat or setting a reminder in my phone (since I go to the store Sunday afternoons, I typically set it to go off a little earlier and then I put the bags at the door). It’s easier for me to remember, though, b/c I refuse to pay $.05/bag in DC. And in certain parts of MD where we’ll shop, you get $.05 off your total for each bag you use. Both are just enough to force me to remember. And I’m with you, the plastic bags started irritating me, the sheer amount of them, especially when they’d double them unnecessarily.

  16. We started recycling about two years ago. It was only because Buddy asked us why we didn’t recycle. DOH! We’re at the point now, where we need to get a larger recycling bin, because we don’t have enough room each week.

  17. What great ideas and perfect projects I think I’ll have to do with the kidlets here, too. :)

    I’m a big recycler – I love reusing things in creative ways rather than throwing them away. Of course this could be a problem since I’m also a pack rat. The hubby, on the other hand, not so much – so Princess Nagger has taken to nagging him about recycling more. ;)

    Creation from a Hunger Games Obsession

  18. How very cool! What a great idea!

    Yep, Every day is Earth Day around here. We reuse, reduce, recycle about everything in this house. I absolutely LOVE celebrating Earth Day, though. I usually host a play date for my moms group where we sing songs and plant seeds. With it being on a Sunday this year, my kids and I will probably garden. Lord knows, our yard needs some love.

  19. Stunning ideas! To some extend my post today is also about recycling to some extend or rather re using. My daughter’s school have a huge recycling effort and the classes get rewards if they are the top recyclers for the week – we took 80kg of office paper this morning – I hope they win this week.

  20. That’s awesome!!

    We do try to go green – we recycle, use cloth bags for shopping, use cloth rags for cleaning. We do what we can, every little matters.

  21. Karly @ Three in Three says:

    Phoenix is terrible for recycling. It drives me crazy, because in my teeny tiny hometown of Owatonna, MN, we recycled everything. Now I make recycling piles and have no where to take it. I gave up my car for Earth Day and for…forever. Not by choice, though.

  22. you know, it’s funny, but reading where you said your dudes don’t even think about it… it’s so true, isn’t it? I remember when we first started to recycle in NJ and it was maybe in the 80′s and I remember thinking it was such a bother.
    And yet, now it’s just everyday life.
    Kind of nice :)

  23. Those seed bombs are rather neat. I think Earth Day is a great idea to bring awareness. I’m not as eco-friendly as some others, but I try my best to do little things. Recycling is definitely high on my agenda as well. Thankfully, my city has a recycling program that makes it easy to throw cardboard, paper, and aluminum into bins.

  24. “I know, I know EVERY day is Earth Day.” You really are an Eco Gangsta lady!! lol
    LOVE the project idea…stealing that one for my wee one’s Earth Day activity!!

  25. My kids would love making seed bombs, thanks for sharing the idea!

  26. You are by far the cutest mom ever. That project looks so fun.

    ALSO! Thanks for featuring my little blog here. It made me whole day. Scratch that, week (or month, maybe!?)

  27. What a cool activity to do with the kids!

  28. You asked: “What do you do to keep the Earth healthy, happy, and looking fly?”

    Me… Not nearly as much as I should. One day at a time though… and through the years I have definitely gotten much friendlier to the earth :)

  29. What a fun project. We just grew some kid chia-pet like insects…they were just grass, and now they are dead.

    We need to get some flowers that are harder to kill.

    We’re working on turning off lights for Earth Day…and I’m participating in the Great Cloth Diaper Change:)