A Mother’s Green Commitment

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Eco Friendly Kids Room

The move from the city to the country, more specifically wine country, has been quite the change for a family of busy bodies from the heart of the city. But six months into our move and we are still in “house honeymoon bliss”. Though we have been known to wake up with a jolt in the middle of the night and just marvUel at the quietness that surrounds us – at times we do miss the roll of the streetcars.

Though content to be in the moment, we have had our fair share of “new kids on the block” challenges and I am sure there will be more. But with kids back to school this morning I got to sit quietly, here at my home office, looking out on a yard covered with fresh snow and I got to think about my commitments for 2011.

Now I am not talking about my commitments, as in my daily and monthly obligations: cook dinner, do laundry, work and be general ruler of my kids’ world. What I am talking about, is what many of you may call a New Year’s Resolution (or Un-Resolution), or maybe you have called it a goal for 2011. Now I may be considered a few days late, but I will admit that I rarely make great decisions at midnight when there may have been a glass of wine or two involved (or in this year’s case, the flu for three out of four of us in the family). So with a clear-head, and a fresh covering of snow on my lawn I have created my 2011 Green Commitment.

Quite the thinking has gone into setting these goals. With a Type A personality and being a person who likes to achieve goals, I wanted to create something that could make an impact outside of myself and have a longer effect than just a year. With this in mind and remembering what an old friend once told me: “We are living on a planet that we have borrowed from our kids.” Here is what I have committed to:My 2011 Green Commitment it to teach my two year old daughter:

  1.  The concept of recycling.
  2.  The importance of planting trees.
  3.  How to plant a tree.

I feel that with a two year old this will be a year-long commitment of re-enforcing the concepts before she may “get” it. We have tried this with food – teaching her the concept of local eating and it is going pretty well (check out my article The Paleolithic Toddler).

With the UN declaring 2011 The International Year of the Forrest I figured there would be lots of information to support me when it comes time to teach about planting trees – though how helpful it will be for a toddler is yet to be tested.

But so far this goal in mind, I have already set up the first activity to tackle the concept of recycling for her when she gets home, The Sorting Game:

  1. I have placed a big blue bin next to the garbage and with images of: boxes, paper and juice boxes on it.
  2. I have also created a large pile of “garbage” in the kitchen, laid out on larger piece of cardboard, it contains: orange peels, juice boxes, milk cartons, sales receipts and glass bottles.
  3.  The final component is a chart on the fridge, where she will get a sticker (she LOVES stickers) for each correct item in the bin and for each time she uses the word recycling.

Hopefully by sharing this with all of you, it will encourage me to keep up this commitment.

So, I will let you know how game goes this afternoon!