I recycle and I use reusable containers for our water and lunches. But beyond that I don’t consider myself to be an environmentalist. I don’t enjoy gardening, and frankly if plants could run the other way when they saw me coming they would. I do what I can to help the environment, but I don’t spend an awful lot of time thinking about it. Molly is a whole other story. She is happiest when she is outdoors in the dirt investigating nature. She worries about the environment, and even did a summer research project on global warming. Molly is constantly scanning the ground for bits of trash that can be reused in her projects. I am constantly telling her “leave it,” and “don’t touch that!”
Each year she has asked if we can do an Earth Day clean-up of the park, and for “some reason” it has never worked out. Likely my germophobia has invented a reason.
Today we watched a documentary on Netflix called Addicted to Plastic by Ian Connacher.
It was truly eye-opening. Mr. Connacher went on a 2 year journey around the world to find out what happens to all of the plastic that we consume. I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t realize plastic can never fully decompose. It’s causing a huge problem in our oceans, poisoning fish and birds, and ultimately ending up in our food. I felt like I was “doing my part” by recycling. I knew that only a percentage of what we put in our blue bins gets recycled, but I had no idea it was such a small percentage – 5% in Toronto at the time of the documentary. It was inspiring to see what countries like India and Africa were doing to reuse plastic bags and flip flops.
Molly declared that she wants to see plastic bags banned here like they are in a town in the Himalayas. I could see sparks of action being generated inside her head. She already has a concern for the environment, and watching documentaries like this helps to educate her on not only the specific problems that exist, but also ways that she can help.
Next the twins joined us and we watch an episode of Bubble Guppies called Boy Meets Squirrel. Using this show we were able to show Maggie what we had planned for the afternoon – cleaning up the park – because she learns more easily when we can give her a visual example.
We gathered up rubber gloves, garbage bags, and a blue bin and loaded it all onto the wagon. Maggie was on wagon-duty and we picked up garbage all the way along. It was a beautiful day to get outside, and great exercise bending over to pick up garbage off the grass. I was amazed by all the people who stopped the girls and thanked them for cleaning up the park. The proud smiles were awesome.
Molly and Grace decided to draw some Earth Day pictures. Molly used a hole-punch to make leaves out of construction paper, which she glued onto the branches, and then fringed more green paper to use as grass along the bottom. Grace’s message is that she would like us all to “Help Save the World!”
Tomorrow is Earth Day, and April is Earth Month, so it’s the perfect time to spark your kids’ interest in the environment, and Netflix has a great assortment of shows to help you with that. And make sure you enter my giveaway to win 6 months of free Netflix!