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Earth Day

Things to do in Banff with Teenagers, traveling with teens, travel Tuesday, Banff, Alberta, visit Canada, Visit Alberta, Things to do in Banff with Teenagers and tweens, family travel

Earth Day is one of my favorite days of the year because it’s a great reminder to take a moment and be thankful for the planet we live on. I know, it sounds super crunchy but it’s like realizing that you should be thankful for your body for all that it does for you, instead of complaining that it doesn’t look like everyone else’s. I’m always looking for awesome Earth Day tips for raising environmentally aware kids.

Aside from raising your children to be good human beings (which should be first and foremost every parent’s goal) and showing them how to commit random acts of kindness in the world, we have to teach them the importance of taking care of our planet. We have to make it clear that the earth provides for us; food, water, air and everything else we need to survive and thrive in the universe. We need to take care of it in return. Like any good functional relationship, it takes two and lots of respect and reciprocity.

READ ALSO: 10 Steps for being Environmentally Aware

Kids understand so much more, at much younger ages than we often give them credit for. They can understand concepts like climate change, endangered species and overflowing landfills better than some of their adult counterparts. Showing them the way could motivate them to adopt Earth-friendly behavior. Encourage them with your own actions.

You should be having Earth Day conversations with children as young as preschool-aged about why taking care of the planet is such a good idea. The more you talk with your kids, the more they’ll understand but don’t dumb it down too much. Talk in age-appropriate explanations.

READ ALSO: Beach Bag Must-Haves

  • Use Analogies: Wasting the Earth’s resources too quickly is like spending all your piggy bank money before allowance day.
  • Outline Causal Relationships: If you throw trash down a storm drain, it can make ocean animals sick.
  • Define New Vocabulary Terms: Like “biodegradable,” or “renewable energy.”
  • Make Connections to Prior Knowledge: Just like plants use sunlight to make food, solar panels use it to make electricity.

Show your child how important the environment is to everyone around you. But you have to do more than just show them on Earth Day. For eco-friendly behavior to truly become second nature to our kids, it helps if it is done daily, rewarding and fun.

Here are Earth Day Tips for Raising Environmentally Aware Kids

  1. Recycling: Cut bottle, can and paper slot shapes into your bin lids to make sorting recyclables a fun family game. You can even sing a song while you sort.  And if you take your collected items to a recycling center, consider sharing the redemption money with your kids for an added incentive.
  2. Transportation: Look for chances to reduce emissions (and your stress levels) by taking car-free trips whenever you can. Biking, walking and riding public transportation can give your family some exercise and make traveling a lot more fun, too. City dwellers should find this easy, but even if you live out in the suburbs, we bet you have a park, restaurant or friend’s house within pedaling distance.
  3. Reducing Waste: Help your kids look forward to saving electricity by having one fun candlelight dinner every week. Or encourage them to use less water by timing who can take the fastest shower (while still coming out smelling clean, of course)!
  4. Water: Use only the water you need, and reuse when possible.
    Rain barrels can be used to collect rain and then you can use it to water a family garden.
    Bathe together. Put the kids in the tub together. Shower with your kids or your husband. It saves water, creates memories and nurtures the bond between siblings Dispose of solid and liquid wastes and medications safely.
    Take advantage of medication take-back programs or household hazardous waste collection programs that accept medications, pharmaceuticals, oil, paint and other liquid wastes.
  5. Pass on gas! For example, take public transportation, carpool, plan your day to reduce trips and vehicle emissions.
  6. Make sure your home’s air is healthy, learn about indoor air pollutants from indoor energy use and toxins.
  7. Plant a tree. Or plant many trees! Plant a garden. Plant a vegetable garden.
  8. Prevent additional air pollution by finding alternatives to burning your waste.
  9. Use pesticides safely! Reduce or eliminate where possible.
  10. Learn about composting, try it out!
  11. Reducing yard waste by recycling yard trimmings into free fertilizer.
  12. Learn about the native species and the negative effects of non-native plants and animals in the environment. Plant native species in your gardens, encourage important pollinators such as bees and birds by planting gardens full of their favorite plants. Join a team in your community that removes non-native species.
  13. Save energy at home Choose energy-saving appliances if they’re available. Look for Energy Star!
  14. Hang dry your clothes. This is one of my favorite things to do.
  15. Go renewable! Create your own power from the wind, the sun, water, or biofuels.
  16. Find alternate ways to reduce the use of diesel and other fuels for transportation, production and energy.
  17. Upcycle! Take something that is disposable and transforms it into something of greater use and value.
  18. Recycle metals, plastics and paper
  19. E-cycle Recycle and/or properly dispose of electronic waste such as computers and other gadgets
  20. Don’t litter! Properly dispose of trash and waste

 

Earth Day, Earth Day 2019, Earth Day tips for how to raise envirnmentally aware, Things to do in Banff with Teenagers, traveling with teens, travel Tuesday, Banff, Alberta, visit Canada, Visit Alberta, Things to do in Banff with Teenagers and tweens, family travel

The best thing you can do is simply the act of getting your kids outdoors; no matter the ages. In our high tech world, kids spend a lot more time indoors looking at screens. I’m not judging. I’m stating a fact. We all do it but we need to actively get our kids moving outside, for their health and the health of the planet.

One amazing experience in the great outdoors is worth a thousand nature lectures. Children who have an immersive experience in nature between the ages of 5 and 10, tend to care more about the environment. There is also a greater likelihood that they will actively work to preserve the important life-giving aspects of the environment as adults.

READ ALSO: Tips to Keep Your Kids Healthy

Rather than teaching our Earth Day tips about sustainability, give your kids a nature experience that will instill them with an environmental ethic that will inspire them to develop their own dedication to sustainability.

We’ll be spending this beautiful Earth Day outside, as we always do, watching our girl play soccer, going for a nature walk and playing in the backyard. There is something about getting outside, breathing in the fresh air and playing that truly inspires my family. Nature is like my church.  I feel most at peace just being still and taking in the wonder and beauty that is outside.

What are your best Earth Day tips for raising environmentally aware kids?

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Earth Footwear, swimsuit season, #EarthFootwear, fashion, crying

The following post is sponsored by Mamavation on behalf of Earth Footwear. #EarthFootwear

It is almost May, so you know what that means? Cute Sandal and cry inducing bathing suit season are in full swing, right now! Honestly, I have been crying in dressing rooms since about mid-February. So to balance out the sheer horror of bathing suit shopping, I reward myself every year with leisurely strolls through the shoe stores perusing sandals. I linger through the aisles, gingerly slipping a variety of sandals on and off ; one by one; loving each pair more than the last. Shoe shopping for me is the complete opposite of bathing suit shopping. It always has been. Swimsuit shopping makes me sob like I lost my best friend ( my abs) and shoes just make me happy.

Feeling down, no problem, head to your nearest shoe store and spend an hour or two trying on shoes. I’m not kidding a cute pair of shoes makes the world feel more beautiful. In my twenties, I even took a job managing a shoe store, just for the discount. Shhh, don’t tell me husband. At one point, I had 300 pairs of shoes. Who was I? Imelda Marcos? It was sort of like letting a crackhead be a drug dealer. I absorbed a great deal of my own product. In the end, I had to quit but my love for shoes remains; as does my hatred for bathing suits.

I am an equal opportunity shoe lover. I love everything from flip-flops to Louboutins. If I can put it on my foot and wear it, I can find an outfit and occasion to make it work. Well, with the exception of those new trendy Minotaur hoof heels. I’d prefer to pass on those.  I was a vegetarian for 10 years and the idea of sticking an animal’s “actual” hoof on my foot for fashion, is just too distasteful to imagine. The point is shoes have never made me cry, unless you count that one pair of 5-inch-heels I wore all over downtown Chicago fro my birthday. Bad idea.

The point is shoes soothe my soul, like chocolate and good wine or a really good bag. So when I was asked to review a pair of Earth Footwear’s Camarra sandals, I have to admit, I was pretty excited to be trying new shoes. You see, Earth Footwear is known for being comfortable. Which, let’s face it, if you are going to be on spring break walking around Disney World all day is a definite plus.

Camarra, Earth Footwear, Summer, Sandals, Review

The comfort is all in the contoured arch-support that works to keep you comfortable all day long. Have you ever tried walking long distances in those super flat Grecian style sandals? I have. They are gorgeous and I own a couple pair, but they are terrible for long walks. By the time you finish your walk, it feels like someone to a baseball bat to the bottoms of your feet but don’t hurt at all if you only wear them for shorts amounts of time. Keep the flat sandals for day trips to the mall.

The Camarras, however, are very comfortable and stylish. Contrasting textures and pops of shimmer combine with gracefully arching lines to create a strappy sandal that feels great all day. So often it feels like you have to sacrifice one for the other. I mean. Come one, you don’ see ant collaborations between Dr. Scholl’s and Louboutin, do you? I really like my Camarras because they are made of quality leather so they look nice and contemporary and the wedge is only an inch and a half, so you can wear it with shorts and jeans or with a cute dress at nighttime.  I got the platinum because I feel it’s versatile with my wardrobe but the Camarra also comes in Slate, if you prefer a darker sandal. I love these sandals because they are contemporary sandals made for real women who live in the real world. When’s a pair of 5-inch heels ever done that for you? I need cute and comfortable and I don’t want to sacrifice one for the other. Do you? We shouldn’t have to, right?

The Spring and Summer 2014 Earth collection starts at just $85 and most of the collection is under $100 and each show features a cushioned footbed for all day comfort with a padded heal area to displace shock, a reinforced arch support to stabilize the foot, and multi-density latex cushioning layer for extra support. Which any mom who has ever spent any amount of time in line at Disney World waiting in line to see a princess can tell you that comfort is everything.

If you’d like to be automatically entered into a monthly shoe giveaway, you can sign up for the Earth eNewsletter here.

You can also connect with Earth Footwear on FacebookTwitter, Instagram and Pinterest to see all their Earth Day Pins; filled with loads of ways to make your family more earth friendly.

What’s your favorite Earth Friendly tip?

 

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disneynature, bears, disney

For a year, my little one has been waiting for this Disneynature’s Bears to come to theaters. She is a huge animal lover and from the moment she found out that all proceeds on opening weekend were being donated, she was counting down the days even saving her own money to take and donate. This kid, she is something else.  So , guess who is seeing Disneynature’s Bears this weekend? Me and my entire family, even grandma.

In an epic tale of breathtaking beauty, Disneynature’s new true life adventure “Bears” follows the year in the life of two mother bears as they raise and impart life lessons to their impressionable young cubs.

“Bears” is set against the majestic Alaskan backdrop. The journey begins as winter comes to an end and the bears emerge from hibernation to face the bitter cold.

The world outside is exciting and dangerous as the cubs’ descent down the mountain carries with it the threat of avalanches. As it changes from spring to summer, brown bear families work together to find food, feasting at a plentiful salmon run, while staying safe from predators, such as wolf pack that constantly seem to be around.

“Bears” captures the action and suspense of life in one of the planet’s last great wildernesses. The very survival of the cubs depends on adhering to their mothers’ instruction, and family togetherness is the shelter that protects them from the elements of Alaska.

Like “Chimpanzees”, Disneynature has a way of infiltrating the natural habitat of the animals being filmed without disturbing them. The result is capturing amazing footage of some of the world’s most awe inspiring creatures doing exactly what they do when humans are not present. This is unprecedented and thrilling to watch.

These films give us a look into the mind of these animals and demonstrate just how alike we all really are when it comes to nurturing our children.  I cannot wait to see this film.

Photo Source: Disney

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The world is a beautiful place and we are allowed to marvel and enjoy her on a daily basis! Please take care of her! Recycle. Reuse. Reduce! Happy Earth Day 2010! The link I am including is a link to great ideas for Earth Day activities to do with your children. Go to a National park, the local farmers market, just go outside and enjoy the marvelous planet of ours! Peace!

https://holidays.kaboose.com/earthday-activities.html

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