Every Day is Earth Day!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Life in a big family means that we look out for the earth everyday. The fact that it's good for the pocket book might also have something to do with it.

Here's how Mama's family saves the earth, one day at a time:

Reduce: We limit a lot of things.
  • TVs - We have one. Can you imagine if we let the kids have a TV in their room? Who needs 5 TVs?
  • Other electronics - Same goes for gaming systems, we don't have one, because we only have one TV. We have one cell phone for the family, because someone's almost always home. The kids don't get one. Their brothers and sisters will tattle on them if they leave their boundaries and my children run in a gang together.
  • Shoes - they have 2 pair each, play and church. That's 28 shoes, people, which is plenty!
  • Juice- we just buy a quart instead of the little pouches. Much easier than unwrapping 7 little straws, then picking up 7 little straw papers before the vacuum clogs. Same goes for little oatmeal packets, little bags of crackers, and so on. We just all dive in to the big bag and share our cooties all around.
  • Happy meals - don't buy these at all. If we go out, we force the children to share a large fries - cutting neon printed greasy cardboard waste by 90%.
  • There are 9 people in house, which works out to 244 sq. ft. of living space per person. Our previous home clocked in at 144 sq. ft. This is less than a family of 4 living in a 1000 sq. ft. - and we have one set of appliances (contrasting 2 families of 4).
  • We carpool. Always. Unless Mama is fleeing the scene grocery shopping.
  • My children also reduce water waste by never flushing the toilet until Mama catches them and forces them to flip the lever. My older boys contribute by pretending to wash their hair but not actually using water or shampoo.
What mom hasn't folded a paper towel in half and then used the other side?

We don't throw away the vacuum the 9 yo dropped down the stairs. A little duct tape, and it's as good as new!

Empty jars are saved for catching bugs, storing leftovers, holding guppies, pantry storage, and catching lizards. Not a day goes by without a Miracle Whip habitat creation!

I also have a large Rubbermaid tub with "tweener toys" - toys that Mister X has outgrown, but the new baby will use. However, since we own everything Fisher Price ever created, it does make birthday gifts difficult. On the other hand, my boys are quite happy with natural toys. Rocks and sticks, anyone?

Everything gets passed along or repurposed!

They're called hand-me-downs. And leftovers.

And because I'm a cheap-o, I put all of the kids' workbooks into page protectors so they can use a dry erase marker -and then I can recycle the very same book for the next kid. This also solves the problem of the obstinate child who is playing dumb and messes up the worksheet on purpose. Oh, that never happens to you? Uh, never mind, then.

What did you do for Earth Day?

Our neighbors celebrated Earth Day by lacing their yard with mothballs (an illegal use of pesticide, BTW). It stinks and is so dangerous to pets and children. A single mothball, which looks like a big white Lemonhead, can put a toddler in the hospital. Not sure what to do about that... they are our "cranky" neighbors that are hard to talk to and stole our cat (before abandoning it a few months later).

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 4/23/2009 10:51:00 AM | Permalink | |