This morning as I was crushing another cereal box for the recycling bin and dropping the apple peels in the compost, I realized that trash has changed a lot since I was a kid. Back then (and I won’t say when “back then” was) we threw everything away. I remember we had three big trash cans in our garage filled to the brim and then some. The garbage men walked up our driveway, lifted the garage door, and carted them out to the street. Then they put the trash cans back in the garage and closed the door again. Times have changed. Between composting, recycling, and my plastic container fetish, we have about two or three bags of trash each week. They all fit in one trash can that we roll down to the street. The garbage men pick them up, along with all the recycling, empty them in their truck, and fling the cans back in to our driveway with as much force as possible. Sometimes the can rolls back in to the street to create an obstacle course for our neighbors. Like I said, trash has changed.
My kids have grown up with compost and recycling. They don’t know any different. They know all about saving the planet and global warming. They are concerned about the rainforest. Teaching your kids to live a life that is good for them and for this world isn’t as hard as it used to be. Being green is “in”. As much as they might complain about changes to their lifestyle that involve the loss of cheese curls and soda, they will adapt. And it will be what they know. Once they become parents themselves they’ll even appreciate it.
This weekend there is a great opportunity to create a memory for your children and do something good for the planet. Last year 50 million people participated in Earth Hour and created the largest voluntary power-down in history. This year it could be even bigger. I’m already planning our evening. I’m gathering candles and games and yummy snacks. At 8:25, we’ll send the kids all over the house to turn off everything. Even though Earth Hour organizers are only directing us to turn off lights, we’re going for broke in our household. We have a Black and Decker gadget that tells us how much power we’re using in our house at any given moment – we’ll try to make it say 0. We’ll light a fire if it’s cold and light lots and lots of candles and then for one hour we will be together and have fun without using any electricity. My kids are stoked for this, as am I. We can’t wait. What can your family do for Earth Hour? Don’t miss this opportunity to teach your children about conservation and have a great family memory to show for it.
One other thought, if 8:30-9:30pm this Saturday doesn’t work for you, pick another time. Your kids will never know it wasn’t the real “Earth Hour”. Besides if you do it sometime within 24 hours of our Earth Hour, you’re bound to be participating in Earth Hour somewhere on the planet. It’s important that we find ways to pass on our commitment to a planet-conscious lifestyle. Here’s a great chance. And don’t forget Earth Day is coming in April – start making plans now!
You can learn all about Earth Hour at www.earthhour.org. Earth Hour is a worldwide event. You can check out other people’s posts, videos, and tweets from all over the world. You can join the Earth Hour group or just be a fan on Facebook. Isn’t it cool to be part of something so big?