Happy Earth Day! Living green is something I am genuinely passionate about and although Earth Day comes once a year, there are plenty of easy changes we can make to show our love for Mother Earth every day. I've chosen some of my favorites that any busy family can try, whether you've got 5 minutes, 5 days, or 5 months…
In 5 minutes you can:
1. Cancel catalogs with your kids: All over America, kids are joining the "Catalog Canceling Challenge" and saving thousands of trees throughout the world.
2. Save water by setting a timer for showering. Turn it into a family competition to see who can take a shower in under 5 minutes. Keep the timer in the bathroom to remind everyone about this good habit after Earth Day is over.
3. Replace paper napkins and paper towels with cloth napkins and micro fiber towels.
4. Make your own eco-friendly all purpose household cleaner: mix ¼ vinegar, 2 teaspoons borax, 1 table castile soap, 1 liter hot water. Store and keep.
5. Take your own bags to the grocery store and your own garment bag to the dry cleaner.
In 5 hours you can:
1. Start a garden. My son and I love watching our vegetables grow and incorporating them in new recipes.
2. Start a compost pile: Composting helps the Earth by keeping unnecessary trash out of landfills and providing organic fertilizer for your yard and brand new garden.
3. Shop for organic produce at your local farmers market, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by eating pesticide-free food that hasn't had to travel so far to get to you.
4. Organize a clean up project with your family. Get the whole family involved to donate time to clean up your favorite local park, school ground, or beach.
5. Freecycle old toys and clothes, or look into other options here.
If you have 5 days to 5 months:
1. Potty train your infant using elimination communication. Around the world, EC keeps tons of diapers from entering landfills.
2. Ride your bike or walk to run errands.
3. Take public transportation whenever possible.
4. Organize a recycling baby shower, or a clothing swap for gently used baby gear instead buying new things.
5. Install or lease solar panels for your home.
-Diane Mizota, Host of This Week in M.O.M