Each month I am going to propose a BIG challenge to all the readers to tackle at some point throughout the month. I will get the challenge up on the blog as close to the 1st of the month as a I can. These will be field trips, projects or activities that might take some planning, materials or more than one day to complete. The point of the challenges is to stretch the everyday mom's comfort zone when it comes to things in nature or "green" related. My hope is that parents will try the challenge and then let me know through comments or emails how it went. If someone is really successful, loves the challenge or has a funny story to tell I may post their story on the blog and even send them a prize! Besides having the challenges posted in the blog post at the beginning of the month, I will also post them all here so that anyone can come here and try out previous months challenges.
So take a look at the challenges below! Try one out, join the rest of the readers in this month's challenge, and then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell me how it went! You never know, you may end up with a post all about your experience and fun package coming your way. Good luck!
This month I am focusing on FOOD! July is a great month to deal with food because a ton of great fruits and vegetables are in season right now. So many kids have a disconnect with where their food comes from that I think it is important to take some time every once in a while to show kids the way their food is grown. The challenge - this month try to expose your children to farmers! Visit a local farm, go fruit/vegetable picking at a public farm, go to a REAL farmers market and talk to the farmer about the produce they have to sell, any or all of these are great ways to give your kids some experiences with where their food comes from. OR if you are currently growing any of your own food make sure that you get your kids involved this month; have them help you water, weed, harvest or in any other way take care of the plants. Be sure to document whatever you do with lots of pictures and then send me your stories and pictures! Can't wait to hear how your adventures go.
August & September
OOP! Totally forgot to post the challenges here for these two months! Still working out the kinks of this blogging thing.
Greening by Example.
This month I want to focus on the habits that we have at home. How are we being good examples for our children of how to live a healthy, green life? I am interested in hearing not only what things you do at home to help the environment but also how you get your children involved in those activities. It is not enough to recycle if you aren't teaching your children what recycling is and why we do it. This can be the most simple and small green habit (turning the water off while you brush your teeth) to something much more intense like having solar panels. All you have to do is email me about what you are doing and how you are teaching your children. Blog about it and mention the challenge (be sure to let me know that you did this!) and get an extra entry!! I will share the emails that I get (if you don't want me to share please let me know) and link up to your blog or website.
This month I know it will start (at least for some of us) to get harder to get outside. Because of cooler temperatures it will be easy to hole-up inside and avoid the outdoors. So I want to do everything I can to encourage us all to GET OUTSIDE! My challenge for this month is two-fold. First I want you to take your family or class for a hike. A long walk in a natural area. Second I want this hike to occur in a NEW place. Get out and explore. Find a new park or just a new trail in a park you know. But really explore the unkown and unfamiliar. Going hiking during this time of year can be really rewarding because with less leaves on the trees views can be more amazing, birds and other wildlife can be easier to spot and certain not so friendly plants and insects are starting to go dormant and be less of a pest. It can be an amazing experience. So GO! Hike. Explore. And then come back and tell me how it went. Share your experiences to motivate others to get outside. That's what it is all about, just encouraging each other that even with the smallest of kids it IS possible and enjoyable to get outside!
GET INVOLVED! One thing that I hope to teach my girls as they grow up that being a good environmental citizen means being a part of the solution. Giving back. Volunteering. Voting. Supporting environmental cuases. Standing up for what we believe in. This could mean getting involved at your child's school to help them establish a recycling program or composting program. Helping your community create a community garden. Taking your kids on a liter walk. Giving money or time to your local conservation organization. Or educate yourself on the environmental situation in your state. There are LOTS of ways to get yourself and your kids involved. But it is impossible to raise responsible environmental citizens without getting involved in some way. So get creative and let us all know how you get involved in environmental issues, environmental education or education in your area.