Earth Day is celebrated on Tuesday, April 22 this month, but you do not need to wait until that day arrives to do something to promote good stewardship toward the world that has been gifted to us by God.
April 22 was chosen in honor of Eddie Albert, an environmental, humanitarian activist and actor, who participated in the launching of the first Earth Day celebration. The date also happens to be the birthday of Arbor Day founder Julius Sterling Morton.
These are some of the ways of going green that we enjoy during family time together in April and year around.
Take a nature hike or walk in your neighborhood:
During the spring, summer, and early fall months, our family enjoys taking hikes together at one of our local parks. Although the trails are not as long as we are used to, we find enjoyment in them anyway. It is peaceful and natural in its environment and makes us appreciate nature even more.
When we are not able to make it to the park, then we slip on our shoes and take a walk in our neighborhood, which is often good enough for the moment.
Pick up an area that has garbage everywhere:
When my children were younger, there was an area that we would drive by whenever we headed into town. It was a wide open grassed field area that had garbage apparently thrown onto it from people walking across it as well as driving by.
One day, I loaded up the children, paper bags, and gloves, and we spent the day picking up the garbage on the field. By the time we were done, there was a noticeable difference, and we were proud of a hard day’s worth of work that was done. Before we headed home, we stopped off at the city dump and unloaded our collection and headed home.
I don’t know how many days after we finished our project that the field remained garbage-free, but that did not matter to us. It was our way of taking care of “our neighborhood” even though the location was miles away from our home.
Our family has supported Soles4Souls for many years. For some reason, getting rid of shoes that no longer fit is much easier for me than giving away clothes that no longer fit. I’m still working on that challenge.
One of the wonderful things about organizations like Souls4Soles is that they work with people who are skilled at refurbishing shoes. Your shoes leave you looking worn, tired, and lifeless and are turned around and made like new and very usable by someone who may be receiving his or her first pair of “new” shoes.
I just took a look at my running shoes, and the soles have definitely met their end, but the shoes will be able to be made almost new again for someone else who will enjoy more life from them.
The last shoe drive that we held was at our church where we took in more than 400 pair of shoes that we were able to donate to the organization. In the batch were house shoes, running shoes, athletic shoes, cowboy boots, and more from children and adults. You will be surprised at the way people will positively respond to your request for their old or no longer used shoes.
Start your garden growing:
Where we now live, starting a garden when it should be started (earlier in the year) often gets put on hold due to cold weather. If you are still experiencing questionable weather on your part of the map, then try starting your garden indoors. We start our garden by making homemade seedling pots. Because it has been cold this year, we will be doing the same thing again. When the temperature warms outdoors, we will be that much ahead in seeing our garden grow and enjoying fresh fruits and vegetables.
Do the big purge with clothes and toys:
I have a wall full of clothes that no longer fit my children. Some my youngest can still wear, and everything else really needs to move on to a smaller child. Take a weekend or use the entire month to do a clothes and toys purge in your home. Let your children go through their toys and pull out ones they have not touched in months. Make a pile of toys to donate or give to another child who they know and will get more playtime out of the toy.
While they are going through their toys, you should go through their clothes and do the same thing. Do not limit it to spring and summer clothes, but also look at the fall and winter clothes that you know will not fit your children later this year.