By on May 31st, 2008

We just returned from a trip to Ontario, where I”m proud to report that recycling is in much fuller swing than it is here in the Okanagan. With a house full of B.C. guests, my father was constantly pointing to various containers for this and that type of garbage. One for paper products, one for food waste, one for plastics and one for

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regular garbage. I was impressed how little “garbage” there actually was (and also that it only gets picked up every other week). One of the main items that filled up the actual garbage container (especially while we were there with small kids) was packaging from foods.

I”m not sure about other families, but in our household, breakfast is the main event. We go through a lot of cereal, and while the cardboard boxes are recyclable, the inner best casino bonuses bags generally end up in the trash. To get around this problem I have stopped buying freezer bags and started reusing the bags that hold our kids” favourite cereals. These inner bags are sturdy and large and work well for holding baking and other portioned food for the freezer. And, even though the cardboard is recyclable, I”m trying to teach my kids that it is a good idea to reuse before we recycle. After all, the recycling process from start to finish still requires some major energy sucking. My four year old loves to cut things out, so instead of always buying plastic or stuffed toys of her favourite characters or animals (speaking of excess packaging) we draw the latest Backyardigan or My Little Pony and she colours it, cuts it out, and adds it to her cardboard collection. While this may sound too good to be true, she often takes these lovable friends to Show and Tell with her.

Tomorrow is the last Saturday of the month, and my family will be observing Earth Hour again. In case you”re new to Talk Green, please take a moment to read our monthly plan. We”d love if you would join us in encouraging kids to care for the earth by designating a no power hour in your household at the end of each month. If you”re planning on having an Earth Hour with your kids, ask them to go on a tour of the house with you while you unplug all of the power suckers for the night before putting them to bed.

Next month we will be suggesting some Earth Friendly storybooks for kids.

By on May 2nd, 2008

At 8pm on March 29th 2008, people around the world showed the earth a little love. Initiated by Sydney’s effort in 2007, Earth Hour became a global movement this year, with millions turning off their electricity and appliances to take a stand against human-induced climate change. While the media hype was focused on the darkened city skylines and landmarks, little mention was made of the young children who forfeited their night lights and lullabies in the bedtime hour.

An article in the Sydney Herald today reported that two thirds of women took part in Earth Hour, while men (especially older, single men) showed much less interest. The report also suggested that the majority of Australian households with children took part while those without kids were less likely. If you are a parent like me, and you took the time to participate in Earth Hour with your family, I have to assume you got more back than you sacrificed. Not only was Earth Hour a great excuse to teach our children earth-friendly practices, it was also an opportunity to bond and make life-lasting memories. Whether you played a board game by candle light, watched the sunset from a window, or read a bedtime story on the front porch, chances are you remember that evening better than the one before.

Most mothers I know became more environmentally alert after having children. The reason young families were quick to participate in Earth Hour is obvious. We want our children and their children to inherit the Earth we know and love. Instead of accusing elders or singles for not caring

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enough, why not take a stand to show that we parents care more?

If you’re a parent who is serious about raising earth friendly kids, consider celebrating Earth Hour once a month instead of once a year. Does the last Saturday of the month work for you? If not, pick a different day. Hand your child a green marker and ask him or her to mark your calendar! Talk Green.ca will issue a monthly Earth Hour reminder in the last week of each month. Visit regularly for tips and suggestions on how to help your children maintain tiny carbon footprints as they grow.

Please take a moment to comment if you plan to participate. Thank you!