#HaltonWasteChallenge Weekly! Week 5: Make Earth Day a holiday to look forward to!

Hello Friends of Halton Green Screens,

I hope you’ve all had a fantastic Earth Week, and an even better Earth Day! We had a great time at the BurlingtonGreen Eco Fair on Saturday, and I managed some time with my family to celebrate Earth Day.

This was our baby’s second Earth Day since he is just over a year now, but it was his first one since he started actually doing stuff and interacting. I saw it as an important addition to my weekly challenges to come up with fun family traditions to make a big deal of Earth Day. I hope that by sharing our fun celebrations with others, we will challenge the status quo of consumerist family holidays and encourage others to enjoy eco-friendly Earth Day traditions. More and more research keeps showing that material gifts bring transient happiness while gifts of experience bring long term happiness, and simplifying childhood may help protect against mental health issues. Also see here for a well-written opinion piece on why kids need minimalism.

We still have every intention of celebrating all of the holidays that Neelan and I grew up loving, but we hope to keep all of the excitement, anticipation, and quality time with our loved ones without giving in to the consumerism. And I hope our little guy will grow up as excited about Earth Day as he is about Christmas or his birthday!

Our Earth Day this year started with gifts from the Earth. For the little one, the Earth got kale seedlings (in toilet paper roll planters of course :)) so he can grow his own food. For the family, the Earth got organic corn and watermelon seeds and an organic aloe vera plant in a compostable pot.

Earth Day gifts

This year we just accepted the gifts and will let the baby help plant his kale, but starting next year when he can understand more complex language we will talk about the gifts from the Earth, and discuss all the other gifts the Earth gives us all year long. Then we’ll decide what we can give back to the Earth and how we can minimize our impact to say thank you for these gifts.

We also had a nice lunch at one of the most eco-friendly restaurants I know of (they’re vegan, and they compost, recycle, and only put out about one bag of garbage per week) and finished the day with a quick cleanup of the trails in our neighbourhood.

Earth Day family cleanup

Earth Day family cleanup

What did you do to celebrate Earth Day this year? Do you have any family Earth Day traditions, or plans to start some? Share your experiences in the comments or on social media!

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