- Frozen as a fallback: I stock up on frozen meals, like Amy’s Kitchen or Kashi. So if it’s time to walk to school and I haven’t packed my lunch, I can always grab something from the freezer. I won’t be tempted to skip the walk in order to make a sandwich.
- Run an errand on the way: Every morning we pass a convenience store en route to school. On the way home, I’ll sometimes stop in to replenish our supply of milk or eggs. It only adds 60 seconds to my trip home, and then I don’t have to do it later.
- Put a value on the experience: Look at it another way. Is this really time “lost”? If time spent in nature is good for kids, it’s good for parents, too. My walk home gives me ten minutes of solitude and fresh air – not to mention the quality time with my kids – and it’s something I’ve come to value a lot.
These are small changes, but they’re worth it. As walking to school has become our rule rather than our exception, I’ve noticed a change in my kids’ morning demeanor. If they’re cranky as we head out the door, they’re considerably mellower when we arrive.
Want to try it out? Start this Wednesday and visit Walk to School Day online for ways to make a school-wide event.
Kerry Crisley is Associate Director of Strategic Communications for The Nature Conservancy. Opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Nature Conservancy.