Be Kind to the Earth, as well as to Each Other
Updated: Dec 14, 2021
Good morning, Watershed Explorers,
The post today will serve two purposes. If you don't know what a purpose is, it is the reason that something is done. In this case, I am sharing my reasons for writing this post! The first purpose is to share how to have an eco-friendly holiday, therefore sharing kindness with the Earth. The second purpose is to express how important it is to share kindness with each other.
Kindness is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as, "the quality of being friendly, generous, considerate; a kind act." I feel it is our responsibility to be kind to the Earth and each other. It is important to remember, that in order to be kind to others, you first have to be kind to yourself. We cannot control others but we can control ourselves. If we feel good, we can share that feeling with those around us! We have the choice to be positive or negative, let's choose positive and create a happier world!
Here are some very easy ways that you can be kind to the Earth this holiday and every day after. Many of the ideas that I am going to share come from activities my family completes, others come from a post by the National Wildlife Federation website, which you can check out by visiting this link https://blog.nwf.org/2007/12/turn-the-holidays-green-earth-friendly-gifts-and-tips/
I am going to break this list up into some easy categories:
Everyone loves to give and receive gifts during the holidays, however, many of the items associated with giving gifts are terrible for the Earth. Here are some items to consider to make gift-giving more eco-conscious.
Give gifts that come from small businesses and help to support your state.
Use reusable gift bags or wrapping, so that there is less trash. You may also decide not to wrap at all!
Give gifts that give back, such as donating to a charity, or supporting a company that donates some of their earnings to charitable organizations.
Give the gift of experience. Take a family member to see a show, or give them a coupon to spend some time with you doing an activity you both enjoy.
Make something yourself, even better yet, make something cool out of trash! A gift that you make shows the recipient just how much you care about them.
One of the best experiences of the holidays is getting together with family and friends. Here are some easy ways to make getting together a little more Earth-friendly.
About half an hour before guests arrive, ask your mom or dad if they can turn the thermostat in your house down a few degrees. Once the house starts filling up with people, you won't even notice if it is a little cooler. This will help your family save on energy costs but will also help the environment by not burning as much natural gas, oil, or other energy source.
Ask your mom or dad if you can use real silverware and plates as opposed to plastic or even paper (a lot of disposable dinnerware is bad for the environment and causes excess waste). This is especially doable if you aren't having too many guests. If there are only going to be a total of 10 people or less, it is very easy to use regular dinner plates, cups, and silverware, and still, only run one dishwashing cycle.
Buy bulk snacks or desserts if possible. The fewer containers that you can have the better.
Compost any leftover food. If you don't compost already, check out this great source on how to begin start.https://www.npr.org/2020/04/07/828918397/how-to-compost-at-home
Before I had my children, it was much easier to be eco-conscious with my decorations. As many of you know, I now have two little girls, ages six and nine. Both of my girls love decorating, and they also love lights. However, as an eco-conscious mom, I have explained that a little goes a long way. Here are some ways that you can make your home beautiful while still being eco-conscious.
If you like to put up lights, try to use LED lights that use less energy. Also, a string of lights around your entryway is more than enough to be festive, don't feel as though you have to string up the whole house.
Try to avoid plastic decorations that will not hold up from year to year. Plastic takes hundreds of years to break down, so unless you are planning to use those decorations for life, choose wood, or other naturally sourced materials.
Create natural decorations that are friendly to wildlife. A local Rhode Island company, Wild Birds Unlimited, sells adorable little birdseed owls that you can hang in trees in your yard, or you may consider creating your own pinecone bird feeders, or a pretty string of dried fruit garland. Check out this website for some cool ideas https://www.homefortheharvest.com/easy-diy-natural-christmas-decorations/ My favorite are the twig reindeer.
Even if you can only choose one of these examples to complete this year, every little bit helps. The Earth will be grateful for the kindness you have shown it.
It is also important, maybe more than ever, to show kindness to those around us. Please understand that this does not mean that you have to like everyone. Even adults deal with people that they don't like regularly. Kindness as the definition states is being friendly, generous, and considerate. A person can be considerate to someone that they don't like. I also feel that kindness means being respectful. I don't have to be a best friend to someone, to be kind. If you hold the door for someone coming into a building behind you or pick up a dropped item for someone, this is being kind. Kindness could be as simple as a smile or a wave to a stranger. We may never even know the person that we show kindness to, and we cannot make that stranger show kindness back to us, all we can do is create positive impacts ourselves.
I hope that this post was meaningful for all of you, and I hope that you will do your best to show kindness during the holidays and into the new year.
I wish you all a wonderful holiday season, with lots of joy, love, peace, and most of all KINDNESS.