Make Green Holidays out of Special Summer Occasions with Your Kids
By Maureen Wise in Healthy Feeling
Summer is a host for a lot of festivities. With warmer weather, you’re ready to celebrate just about everything. Take some time this year to help your kids make all these days green holidays, not just the recent Earth Day. By bringing your green lifestyle into something you practice regularly, it’s more likely to stick with your family. Here are a few ideas to get you started creating eco-friendly holidays.
Earth Day resolutions are like New Year’s Eve; you can pick one thing you’ve been putting off and make your lifestyle more eco-friendly in the season ahead. For summer, this could include composting, biking to nearby errands instead of driving, using cloth napkins, joining a community-supported agriculture program (CSA), or really getting serious about reducing your energy usage. Earth Day is certainly the greenest holiday on the block, so make it count well into the year’s warmest months.
On the heels of Mother’s Day, help your family connect Mother Earth with any occasion that brings parents closer to their kids. You may have gotten mom flowers and chocolates, but consider buying her organic veggie plants as well, to grow in a family garden this season. Select flowers from a community garden or look into eco-friendly florists such as The Bouqs. If a green thumb doesn’t run in your family, nudge your kids to gift you with fair trade chocolate, natural lip gloss, or preservative-free lotion. Be sure to wrap gifts in reusable bags or recyclable paper (fabric or a tote is even better!). And when your kids are making things for grandma’s next visit, encourage them to use supplies you already have at home instead—cardstock, colored pencils, stencils, and similar crafts they already enjoy.
To celebrate Memorial Day, have the kids send rechargeable batteries and chargers to active military. On the day, you can plant a tree at a local cemetery or help pick up trash after a parade. Another way to honor this occasion is offering to help collect recyclables at the community parade. There will be plenty to pick up!
Green up Father’s Day by picking organic, local grass-fed beef to grill for your cookout. Recycled-content golf tees and golf balls make a great gift, as well as razor sharpeners that extend the life of his blades. If your dad (or husband) likes to work with his hands, he’ll appreciate phthalate-free hand cream after time spent in the yard or workshop. Better yet, join in on his hobbies and suggest some DIY projects that use recycled materials. How many new gadgets can you and your kids make together with just recyclables? Father’s Day is the perfect time for an upcycling challenge!
Finally, with summer in full swing, declare independence on your trash can or gasoline for the days preceding the Fourth of July. Make your Independence Day plans the greenest any of your friends have ever seen, using real utensils, cloth napkins, and real plates as you enjoy the yearly fireworks. Hosting yourself? Be sure you have a recycling bin, clearly marked, by each trash can. You can even have your kids set up each recycling center at your party. For all portions of the meal (or barbecue), try to serve locally grown, organic food. Let your kids research a few recipes with organic food that will also come in red, white, and blue to get them in on the fun.
With all the green your family will be practicing this summer, they will truly earn those colorful fireworks on Independence Day. Do you have another tip to turn these celebrations into green holidays? Tell us on Twitter!
This article was brought to you by Tom’s of Maine. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of Tom’s of Maine.
Why It’s Good
Sometimes holidays can be centered on consumerism and create a lot of waste to send to the landfill. Change these habits with some forethought and make your holidays a little greener as a result. These tips help you honor the tradition of the day, whether it's Mother's Day or the Fourth of July, while still lightening the footprint your life has on the community in the process.