By Lamar and Ronnie Tyler, Moms Clean Air Force
Over the last few years, we have started several traditions with our kids during the holidays. It is our hope that they will carry these traditions into their adult lives. First and foremost, we want our kids to really understand the true meaning of the season. The ultimate gift of life was given to us on December 25th, and this is what we celebrate. We want our kids to know that the season is not about receiving gifts and toys. Rather, it is about love, peace, and joy.
To reinforce these principles, we started several traditions. For instance, each year our kids pick a service project to do during the holiday season. While we participate in service projects all throughout the year, it is especially important that they participant during the holidays. The gratification that we all feel after giving back during the holidays is priceless.
The kids and I also do crafts during the holidays. Crafty moms out there might say: “So what, that’s no big deal.” Oh but it is! We make ornaments; we sip hot tea with lemon, sing Christmas carols, and make memories that last a lifetime. Yes, our crafts look like a hot mess (thanks to their non-crafty mom), but the time I’m spending with the kids is perfect!
And thanks to being a member of the Moms Clean Air Force, I have added another tradition to our list. I am going to take every opportunity to teach the kids about the environment during their holiday break.
Next Page: 5 things I plan to do to pique my kids’ interests in the environment over the holidays.
1. Read Books About The Environment: One of the best ways to teach the kids about the environment is through reading books. Checkout these 5 Powerful Clean Air Children’s Books that teach kids about pollution. Consider reading them to your kids, and/or purchasing them as gifts for family and friends. You can also check them out at your local library.
2. Recycle And Reuse: The kids will be in charge of recycling the wrapping paper and any other recyclables during the holiday. Additionally, we’re going through the house and identifying all the items that can be donated to charity or recycled. The folks over at Recyclenow provide a variety of ideas in this post: 12 Days of Recycling this Christmas.
3. Let the Kids Be In charge: The kids love it when they get the opportunity to boss mommy and daddy around. They are going to be the energy police this season. They can remind mommy and daddy to cut off lights, and turn off TV’s and computer monitors to conserve energy.
4. Play Games With The Kids: I devised a game where each person in the family will start off with 5 tokens at the start of the holiday break. If you are caught wasting energy, you have to give up a token to the person that caught you. At the end of the break, the person with the most tokens wins. But I have not figured out what they are going to win yet! For more great game ideas, check out Ecokids.
5. Visit Kids Environmental Websites: I found a list of kid-friendly environmental websites to visit during their time away from school. Since the kids are definitely going to spend time visiting their favorite sites…why not introduce them to a few environmental sites where they can learn and have fun at the same time?
Believe it or not, as mothers, we have more influence over our kids than even their peers. The things that we do and say while our kids are young will leave lasting impressions. I want my kids to grow up knowing the true meaning of Christmas, knowing that they have a responsibility to be of service to the community, knowing how much you can be blessed just by being a blessing to someone else…and knowing that we can’t take anything for granted, not even the clean air that we breathe.
Please join me and thousands of other other moms and dads who have joined the MOMS CLEAN AIR FORCE. Find out the multiple ways you can TAKE ACTION and hold our politicians accountable for decisions that would prevent the EPA from protecting our children’s future.