I have been trying to teach my boys good stewardship of the earth. God calls us to be good stewards of our money and all that He gives us, including the earth. Since "the earth is the Lords, and everything in it," (Psalm 24:1) then our responsibility is to care for it the best that we can while we are here.
Some things we have done in our house to take better care of the environment are:
-Recycling. Our recycle bin is always more full than our trash bin. It feels good to know that our glass jars and cardboard boxes will be able to be repurposed.
-Less plastic water bottles. We bought a ceramic water jar (from a water store), and go there every week to fill up two 5-gallon water containers. This is not only cheaper than buying plastic water bottles by the case, but also saves on waste, as we put our water in reusable water bottles (bpa-free, of course).
-Using less harsh chemicals. I'm all for a good 409 cleaning and sparkling dishes. But for my day-to-day household cleaning, I mainly use homemade cleaners, baking soda, and Shaklee "Get Clean" cleaner. I'm very sensitive to smells and chemicals - my throat immediately starts hurting, my eyes water, and my breathing is affected when I use most cleaners, so Shaklee has been great for me.
-Growing our own vegetables. I am not a gardener; in fact, I kill most plants that come into my presence. But this year I went to our Farmer's Market and picked up little 99 cent starter plants of lettuce (6 kinds), sugar snap peas, cilantro, and tomatoes. Thankfully the sprinklers water these plants, or they would be dead too. It is so fun going into our backyard and picking fresh produce for dinner. Even better, we eliminate a trip to the grocery store and save money!
(On the left: 6 types of lettuce/ that 4 foot high plant on the right is cilantro
that I keep forgetting to pick. Cilantro, anyone?)
Another item we are using in our house to try to eliminate waste is called a GO GREEN GOODIE BAG, and you have a chance to win one this week!
Go Green Goodie Bags are awesome! I was sent a sample to try last week, and Micah quickly adopted it as his own. He now takes it to school every day with his snack inside. I was volunteering in his class one day when he brought this, and literally a crowd of kids surrounded him and wanted to know what this little bag was and what was inside!
It is already saving me money by not having to buy ziplock bags, and they are reusable and washable, so every day we just rinse it out and reuse it! Missy says "It has been estimated that a family of four could save $3000 per year by avoiding disposable containers and single-serving size packages." Each bag is only $7.00 and will save you so much money in the long run.
These goodie bags are made with a cotton fabric and are lined with water- & stain-resistant, food safe nylon. They are free of PVC, phthalates, BPA and lead making them a safe place for food and baby toys. After using, shake out the crumbs, turn the bag inside-out and wipe the liner down or toss it in the washing machine and line dry. Goodie bags measure 6" x 7" and is closed using a full strip of Velcro -- keeping your goodies securely inside.
The creator of Go Green Goodie Bags is a wife & momma to two kids, and wants to help us save money and resources. You have a four chances to win a Go Green Goodie Bag yourself! One winner will receive one orange polka dot bag and one green floral bag. SO cute!
Here are the ways you can win:
1) Leave a comment (be sure your contact info. is connected to your account, or leave your email).
2) Go to Go Green Goodie Bags Facebook Page and become a fan. Leave her a comment and let her know that "Jaimie from The Wonder Years sent me!" Then come back and let me know you did that.
3) Tweet or FB this giveaway and leave me a comment for each one you did.
Sample Tweet or FB post:
Win a "Go Green Goodie Bag" in honor of Earth Day! Visit www.wonderyearsof2.blogspot.com.
This contest is open to US residents only, and will end on Wednesday, April 27th at midnight.
In addition, Go Green Goodie Bags is having a SALE - buy 5 bags, get 1 free! This sale ends at midnight on April 24th, so place your order today! Just go to the Go Green Goodie Bag website, place your order, and in the "notes to seller" section, write in which fabric you would like for your free 6th bag.
Enter away, and good luck!