Sometimes it seems impossible that my family can make a difference in saving the earth. With 3 young boys, I can feel defeated and wasteful with full trash bags, running water, and so many toys. However, I find that if I stick with it, then small eco-conscious ways become part of their routine (soap up before turning water on, turn off water while brushing teeth, sort recycled versus trash, turn off lights as you leave a room). These books make it easy to start the conversation on how important and beautiful our earth is. Happy Earth Day!
I found a few great books that teach kids about being green in a fun way. I love that there are so many fantastic children’s books about “going green.” Bonus points, take the kids to the library to pick them out.
It’s Earth Day! by Mercer Mayer
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
What If Everybody Did That by Colleen Madden
Biscuit’s Earth Day Celebration by Alyssa Capucilli
Michael Recycle by Ellie Bethel
The Earth Book by Todd Parr
Given the economy, environment, and busy schedules, holiday gift-giving can be overwhelming and expensive. Here are a few ways to lessen the burden and help preserve the environment.
Toy bins filled with toys? Your kids bored with the same toys or overwhelmed with too many? Every 3 months, I follow these 3 steps to keep toys fresh.
1. GO THROUGH TOYS: If your toys bins are overflowing, separate into rotate or upcycle
2. ROTATE: I rotate matchbox cars, superheroes (remember, I have all boys!), board games, etc. every 3 months. Throw them in a bag/laundry basket and store in closet for 3 months. After 3 months, swap again. Kids feel like they are getting new, fresh toys every few months.
3. UPCYCLE: Have you heard of Share Our Spare (www.shareourspare.org/)? It’s been around for 1 year and they connect families in need of children’s clothing, toys and supplies with other families who want to share their new or gently-used items with others. So next time you have a birthday party, you can ‘adopt’ a family ask guests to donate gently used items (high chair, booster seat, clothes, etc.) or provide a donation to the family. It’s a fab way to teach kids about other less fortunate families and you are not stuck with 20 more toys that your kids do not really need.
I hate shipping costs (who doesn’t??) and I really dislike making my consumers pay high ship rates. So, I did a lot of research and found a few easy ways to go green and save on shipping costs.
1. REUSE OLD BOXES: I ship my packages in boxes that I’ve received. I remove the shipping label and reuse. I created a stamp with my logo saying that it’s a reused box (don’t want my consumers to think they are getting Sees or Zingerman’s when they are really getting a gig). No one has complained and a few consumers promised to do it themselves.
2. USE KRAFT PAPER INSTEAD OF EXPENSIVE MAILERS: If you do not have a fragile product, I found a great thick brown KRAFT paper that is USPS approved (LePages or 3M work well). I wrap my gigs like a present and stamp my branding (so they know who it is coming from). You have to use more tape to avoid punctures, but it’s 100% recycled paper and 100% post consumer content. It saves a lot of trees and money because it is light to ship and is a fraction of the cost of mailers!
3. STAMP IT UP: I use stamps for branding to avoid waste and label costs. BONUS…it spices up a boring brown box or paper.