5 Ways Moms Can Help The Earth

BY ON April 19, 2012

Hands holding globe sprouting plant watercolor painting

Earth Day is around the corner. You know it is coming because every marketer tries to take advantage of this theme to get us to buy more stuff. Any green angle is pursued. We are forced to consider buying a plastic toy because it is encased in somewhat eco-friendly packaging.

At these times, it’s easy to fall into greenwashing…believing in false (or deliberately unclear) claims about a products’ greenness. Here are my recent picks for the worst in greenwashing this year.

What can moms do to help the earth? There are plenty of small and meaningful actions moms can take to lessen their impacts on the Earth. Together, these acts will conserve and preserve our precious resources such as protecting our air, water and land. Moms can show companies that they can be (and we expect them to be) better stewards of the earth.

1. Reduce

  • Buy only what you need, and consider the impact of products you purchase. Ask yourself these questions: Was it made with sustainable materials? Does it speak to my values? Do I have something else I can use instead? Where will this item be 100 years from now?  What effect does the purchase of this item have on the air, water, soil and health of local communities?
  • Think about the packaging of what you consume. The manufacturing of packaging releases harmful emissions into the atmosphere. Find and use brands that use as little packaging as possible.

2. Reuse

  • Pass along your children’s used clothing and gear. Give it away at a Salvation Army or Freecycle, resell it at a consignment store or on eBay or Craigslist. Most items can have a full second life!
  • Buy and use reusables, such as coffee mugs, water bottles, lunchboxes, sandwich and snack bags and containers. These small changes have a huge impact in reducing the amount of waste you generate in a year. The less waste in landfills, the cleaner the air, the local community around the landfill, and the waterways.
  • Paper: Use both sides, then recycle. Use scraps of nicer paper for art projects too.
  • Craft materials: Keep using items destined for the trash for found art (bottle caps, buttons, twist ties…) There are many ideas for “junk” crafts online, just take a look here.
  • Buying fewer items (especially disposable, limited use items) reduces air pollution, especially from the countless trucks shipping goods constantly from coast to coast.

3. Recycle

  • Everything you can (bottles, waxed cardboard, glass, plastic bags). Find out where your nearest facilities are how to recycle pretty much anything at Earth911.
  • Food. Yes, food. Compost your kitchen scraps. You’ll need some sort of compost bin— you can buy one or create your own. Once you have this set up the only trouble is actually remembering to bring out to the bin. After awhile the compost becomes lovely, useable, rich soil you can use in your garden.

4. Rethink

  • Our media drenched society has us believing in consumption, eternal youth, and materialism are the secrets to happiness. Thinking about what makes you truly happy helps focus on what really matters to most of us: family, relationships, exploring nature…celebrate this Earth Day by spending time outside with your family. Away from screens, deadlines, smartphones, all of it. Feeling inspired? Join screen free week, April 30th-May 6th and see how much time you truly do have.
  • Rethink keeping your car running at school or daycare pick up and drop off times. Idling causes air harmful air pollution, especially in congested areas.  Turn off your car if the wait is more than a few moments.
  • Other modern conveniences we need to rethink: fast food. We know that throw away packaging, factory farmed meat, and artificial additives are bad for us, increase global warming, and contribute to road side litter and the filling of landfills.
  • How you heat your home and how you use energy. Turn the heat down whenever you are at work, asleep, or on vacation. You can reduce carbon emissions and the burning of polluting fossil fuels. Use compact fluorescent bulbs instead of standard lightbulbs, and consider setting up your alliances on a timer to save energy.
  • How you use your car and your fuel economy. Carpool and use public transit when you can. Avoid excess weight in your car and take down racks when not in use. Drive more gently (avoid sudden braking and acceleration, and high speeds) to improve your fuel economy. You’ll save a few bucks and put fewer pollutants into the air.

5. React

  • Moms are infinitely busy (as if I have to tell you that). We have more to do then we ever can accomplish. But this Earth Day pledge to react–speak out–about protecting the health of our children and the earth. Join Moms Clean Air Force for the health and welfare of America’s families and the environment we inhabit together.

How will you take meaningful action to honor and celebrate the Earth?

Photo via Sacramento Scoop



TOPICS: Activism, Motherhood, Pollution