Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Kid's Guide to Protecting the Planet - and What We're Doing About It

 This week Pierce and I read one of our favorite earth books, Dinosaurs to the Rescue, A Guide to Protecting Our Planet by Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown.  This book has fantastic examples for kids to get involved in actively preserving the planet, and how can you not be drawn in by those charming dinosaurs?  It has colorful pictures and plenty of easy tips.

Pierce loves to learn about energy.  He has long been fascinated with air conditioners, generators, batteries and the like.  He does not get this from me.  My brain doesn't have an 'engineering' compartment.  When we read the part about asking your parents to use energy saving light bulbs, we did a little investigating.

Here is the light/fan in Pierce's room.
Guess what?
Turns out those are energy saving bulbs already! 

Then we read about reusing items for new purposes.
Pierce really wants to make the milk carton bird feeder, and I have pledged to save our next carton for this very purpose. 
In the meantime, we went around the house to see what ways we were already helping the planet by reusing what we have.

First, we found Mom's little compost bin on the kitchen counter. 
When this is full, it gets emptied into the big ecomposter outside.
Next summer we will use our compost in another failed prosperous gardening attempt.

We found that the handles on the kitchen cabinets are made from carved mountain laurel, which grows on our land (disclaimer - we did not build the cabinets, but had an Amish carpenter construct them for us). 

We found that the deep freezer in the basement still had land harvested spoils from last summer and fall.  Frozen basil, mountain wine berries, chopped apples, and persimmons were among the goodies to be found.

Mustn't forget that daily we reuse our Fuzzibunz cloth diapers.  Probably our most significant effort in reducing our carbon footprint.
And our diaper pail?
A reused cat litter tub!   

My personal favorite item of reuse?
The horse shoe wreath Paul made me from old horse shoes, which hangs beside our dining room table. 
Pierce and I also found some ways in the book to protect the planet where we're falling short. 
Things like recycling (we don't have any trash pick up where we live, so this requires a good deal of extra effort on our part) and minimizing paper towels (or particularly Clorox wipes - I went through an entire canister last week when the twins had the stomach flu.  And I confess that I'm not really sorry about this one!).  Pierce and I will have to brainstorm on ways to do better in the future.

What ways are you helping the planet?
I bet you're doing more than you think, if you go look around!

I'm linking this post with JDaniel4sMom's Read, Explore, Learn:

Shibley Smiles


JDaniel4's Mom said...

I love the scavenger hunt for ways you were already looking out for the planet. What fun!

Thanks for linking to Read.Explore.Learn. I will Stumbe this post.

Jessica said...

Great post! I'll have to find that book for my boys!

Angela said...

You are such a cool mom! I can't say that we do much on the saving the plant as I used to. We do have trash pick up but not a recycling pick up. So I don't recycle anymore. I personally don't care for the new light bulbs. They have mercury in them. If they break you have to do a lot of stuff to clean it up. Almost need to call Hazmat. I do have a few that I bought and am using. One burned out way sooner than I thought it would. You have to double bag it to even throw it in the trash.

I do use reusable bags that I take to the store. I don't want all of those plastic bags and I don't like throwing them away. So I suppose I do do a few things.

Have a Great Day!

ps it is a snow day for the kids! Not much snow, just slick roads.

Home In The Hollow said...

Well, let's see: energy efficient bulbs throughout; using a dishrag rather than paper towels (although I still have the rack & buy them...I'll get rid of it now though...well, maybe soon; we garden veggies & flowers (which I r collect seeds & replant); used old containers for storage bins;am working on alternatives for cleaning products big time!!!...:)JP

laughwithusblog said...

I have GOT to do this with a book. I've read several of JDaniel4's Mom and I just need to climb aboard this wagon very soon! :)

cat said...

I drive a hybrid Prius.
I use cloth napkins, dishcloths and dishtowels.
I use cloth shopping bags.
We dropped our thermostat.
Recycle glass, cans, cardboard paper, ink cartridges from my printer and batteries.
Shop at thrift stores and buy used stuff whenever I can.
All of my appliances have very high energy ratings.
I cloth diapered my 3 kids.
But I hate those lightbulbs and will not use them.

SnoopyGirl said...

Great ideas for recycling and saving energy. Thanks for sharing! We have tried to save energy by lowering the thermostat and covering windows with plastic. We are also big fans of hand me downs rather than tossing things out. We share a lot with friends and my great-nephews.

Anne@LittleSproutBooks said...

Fun hunt around the house! We use reusable grocery bags and recycle much of our household waste. Composting isn't practical on our lot size, but I'd love to try it someday!
I host a weekly book link-up called Feed Me Books Friday. Come join us sometime!

Charlene said...

I love all the ways you showed about saving the planet...Great idea!