Monday, October 15, 2007

The Little Stuff Counts

Today is blog action day and the theme for this year is the environment. I must admit that lately I've been tired and some weeks I just don't want to sort my recyclables. Then I look at the reasons I'm tired and remember that I want them to be able to enjoy the Earth too. So I drag myself out to the garage for five minutes of sorting on trash day and my paper, cardboard, plastic and metals all get sorted. Glass I save up in a box and take to my local recycling center since they don't pick it up.

Americans waste enough wood and paper to heat 50,000,000 homes for 20 years!

What I've been trying to figure out is how to convey the message of reduce, reuse, and recycle to my three year old. He knows where the paper bags for recycling are in the pantry. He sees me sorting, using reusable shopping bags, taking the few plastic bags we do get back to the store to be recycled, vermicomposting, buying used items so as not to let good things go to waste. Still I really didn't know how to convey to him the beauty of our planet that is God's gift to us.

It takes 200-500 years for an aluminum can to decompose!

Then I realized that it is in all these little things that he will see the bigger picture. By exposing our kids to the wonders of nature; collecting fall leaves, planting seeds, picking noxious weeds, smelling flowers and sitting in the shade of a huge tree watching squirrels all help kids learn about the beauty of what we've been given. I think it's important for little people to see that even though they are small, they too can make a difference.

We could save about 555,556 trees every Sunday if we recycled all our newspapers!

I was reading an article in the Dr's office a couple of months ago about how to get your kids to go green and there was a wonderful idea that we are having fun with. It spoke of a family that had a basket were they kept scraps of paper, cardboard, bits of broken toys, fabric. or yarn. Anything that can't be used by itself and they look through it when they have crafts or art projects. Since my son is into gluing lately we've been doing this and it's great, he doesn't really care what he's gluing or making and I don't have to buy any extra supplies, it's all stuff that would have ended up in the landfill already!

It takes about 450 years for a plastic 6-pack cover to decompose!

When I look at all these little things individually it's easy to think "Nothing I can do will actually make a difference." In reality though if you add it all together these little efforts our children see us making by using cloth diapers or even less paper towels by using washable cloths and dish towels in the kitchen, it all matters. Our grandchildren just might thank us one day that we took responsibility for our gift.


Dee said...

Great...wonderful that you are trying to teach your kids (young as they are) about it too. Lovely picture of your baby girl.
I have a 6 month old...and my first one do see the world differently.
I participated too.It was fun!

mAsOn & tErrI's mOm said...

I try to convey this message to my NON recycling, Styrofoam using hubby! GRRRR!!! Mason is 5(tomorrow, wahhh) and he knows what and how to recycle and save!!!