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Monday, April 21st, 2014

6 Things My Kids Think You Should be Doing to Help the Earth

6 things you should be doing to help the Earth

“I want to plant a tree because tomorrow is Earth Day,” my 11-year-old daughter told me while looking at the giant calendar in the kitchen. I answered that planting a tree was a nice idea, but I was thinking that for us parents, the best celebration for Earth Day, and one we could teach kids as well, is to help prevent the over-consumption or thoughtless use of the Earth’s resources.


Human beings have destroyed and converted into garbage so much of Earth’s resources and caused many environmental disasters such as:


– The Niger Delta
– Bhopal in India
– The Gulf Oil spill
– Lago Agrio in Ecuador


to mention just a few, plus all the wars that have happened because of our interest in controlling the Earth’s resources, particularly oil. We have also created so much garbage, like the island of plastic floating in the Pacific, that now we don’t even know where to put it.


What could we do to help the Earth?


My kids and I were brainstorming ideas and we came up with a couple of them:


1. If you live in a developed country, DON’T BUY WATER BOTTLES. I grew up in Ecuador where water is contaminated. It is a luxury and pleasure to me now that I’m living in San Francisco to just drink the water from the sink. My husband, who is an environmental engineer specializing in water treatment says that the San Francisco has the best water.


see this? not good for the earth


2. Don’t buy things in little containers: small containers of apple sauce, juice containers, aside from the fact that juices are full of sugar, snacks, packaged foods. Buy big containers or in bulk and use reusable containers.


3. Try to not to buy products from remote locations. Consume seasonal products—they are fresher and have not been transported from far away locations using a ton of oil. As an example, I consume Californian grapes when in California and the rest of the year I eat a different fruit.


4. Recycle and compost as much as you can.


5. Make efficient use of water resources. Such as not flushing the toilet at night (my daughter’s idea) and not leaving the water running when brushing your teeth (my seven-year-old son’s idea).


6. Unless you really need to drive a 4-wheel drive car (because you live in the mountains) try to get a car with low gas consumption


The above ideas were just a couple of thoughts we came up with. Since we live in an apartment we don’t have a place to put a tree, but we planted some tomatoes in a pot. We hope they will come out nicely in the summer.


© 2014, Carmen Cordovez. All rights reserved.

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Born to a large family in Quito, Ecuador, Carmen Cordovez went to bilingual Spanish/English school from kindergarten through high school. Her childhood was happily spent going to the beach and riding horses during the summer. She studied and worked in advertising in Ecuador, before moving to Brazil to study computer science. She then moved to San Francisco and worked as a database administrator for Oracle, followed by a start-up. She has always loved traveling, and before having kids, traveled as much as she could to places like India, Burma, Turkey and more. Since having her two American-Ecuadorian kids, she spends her time raising her children, creating art, traveling and doing occasional consulting projects. Her children are currently fourth and first graders in a Mandarin immersion school and are able to communicate in Mandarin. They are also fluent in Spanish and English. She happily spends her summers on a yearly pilgrimage to Ecuador (or other Spanish speaking countries) to visit family for her children’s bicultural/bilingual experience. Carmen blogs at about her experiences traveling.

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1 Comment
  1. CommentsNicole   |  Thursday, 24 April 2014 at 9:48 pm

    My son and I are keeping only one small basket in the house for garbage/landfill items (and we don’t keep it hidden under a cabinet in the kitchen) – making it much less convenient to dispose of trash – especially food packaging – and this is really helping me to remember to consider excess packaging when I make household purchases. It also motivates me to reuse non-recyclables whenever possible (like that plastic wrap that didn’t really get dirty, which can cover something else in the fridge). Thanks for a great post about little things we can teach our children that will hopefully make a difference in how the next generation treats this planet of ours.

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