Happy Earth Week 2022! Looking for ways to celebrate? Here are 4 Family Earth Day Resolutions.
When Earth Day comes around every April, I can’t help but feel a little guilty. Mom guilt knows no bounds, am I right? This appears to be the Earth Mama version.
I didn’t use cloth diapers. At all. We prioritized time and convenience, and it’s a decision I am generally happy with. But mentally calculating two kids’ worth of disposable diapers sitting in a landfill, eventually being incinerated and polluting the air, makes me feel sick to my stomach.
I realized my family can switch things up a little bit as well in an effort to celebrate earth. Rather than looking back at diaper decisions of yore, I’m going to use Earth Day to make a few forward-looking, environmentally-friendly family Earth Day resolutions that I know we are capable of keeping.
Purchase Fewer New Toys
This shouldn’t be hard for my family now that we have joined a toy library, which lets us check out toys for weeks at a time rather than buy new ones. That means less clutter around the house AND fewer toys that eventually end up ignored, broken and landfill-bound. We have loved being a part of this organization and look forward to choosing the next set of entertainment for our kiddos.
Compost as Much as Possible
This year my family will begin a journey into composting, and Hennepin County makes it pretty foolproof. Minneapolis residents can sign up for a compost bin and curbside pickup organic foo waste (which even includes things like stained cardboard pizza boxes!). Of course, this doesn’t make up for our rotting diapers, but it does reduce the number of items piling up in landfills. *Collection details vary by city- check to see what options are offered for you.
Avoid Single-Use Items
It feels like the end of an era deciding to no longer purchase applesauce pouches for my daughter’s daily lunch at preschool. And while it takes less than a minute to pour applesauce from a big glass jar into a little reusable container, I have a feeling I may be cursing this decision as I’m scrambling to throw together her lunches. If I’m tempted, I’ll remind myself of those aforementioned diapers. This change includes exploring alternatives for other pre-packaged snacks, drinking straws, grocery bags, takeout containers, etc.
Stop Using so Much Paper
Paper towel use has been out of control at our house lately. They are too easy to quickly grab and mop up a morning milk spill, wipe the counter of a handprint that missed its mark finger painting, or use as a napkin on Pizza Night. But when I saw my three-year-old ripping from the roll one after the other to use for her baby doll’s bed, it made me want to yell “Remember the trees!”. As a result, our family has now resolved to use fewer paper products, instead opting for cloth napkins, reusable Swedish dishcloths and regular kitchen hand towels when possible.
Each of us can make small changes that work with our lifestyle to positively impact our planet. Maybe you can be inspired by this list of ways we will be going green in our home. Or perhaps you have other family Earth Day resolutions to share with us? Like Dr. Seuss wrote in his book The Lorax, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”