Quotable Timeless Tuesday: Earth Day 2011…Explore Our National Parks…FOR FREE

Ouzel Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colo...

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“O beautiful, for spacious skies,

For amber waves of grain.

For purple mountains majesties,

Above the fruited plain.

America, America, God shed His grace on thee,

And crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea.”

This poem was written by Katherine Lee Bates, a thirty-three year old English professor.  In 1893, Bates took a train trip to Colorado Springs to teach a summer course at Colorado College.  What she saw on her trip, especially the view of the Great Plains from the top of Pikes Peak, inspired her to write the poem which was published two years later to commemorate the 4th of July.  The poem was set to music in 1892 by Samuel Ward who wrote the melody while on a ferryboat ride from Coney Island to New York City.  He had no paper to write on and was afraid he would forget it, so he asked a fellow passenger for his shirt cuff.

Earth Day 2011 is quickly approaching (April 22) and what better way to spend it than to explore one of our National Parks

Do you live close to one of them?

We do…Rocky Mountain National Park…is only a 2½ hour drive from us.  We’ve been there many times…to hike, to fly-fish and to look at the abundant flora and fauna with wonder and awe.  It is a wonderful place for children!

One of the fantastic bloggers I have recently connected with did a great post on the National Parks and she lists the days that you can get in FOR FREE!   Check it out at http://nrhatch.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/national-parks-week-free-admission/

Tomorrow is the start of the Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Blog Event…please stop by….and wish me luck…I hope I post it correctly. 🙂

Earth Day 2011: Preserve, Protect, Promote…How Parents and Their Preschoolers Can Participate

Devils Punchbowl Waterfall at Arthurs Pass in ...

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Have you noticed how much your preschooler wants to be like you?

Look over at your child while you are engaged in some activity like reading, talking on the phone or even cleaning the house.

More often than not, you will see your preschooler mimicking you…the book may be upside down and the imaginary phone conversation may be on a toy…but emulating parents is what young children love to do.

With Earth Day 2011 quickly approaching (Friday, April 22), here are seven simple steps that parents can take to preserve the planet for future generations, protect our natural resources and promote environmental awareness with their preschoolers.

1.     Buy gently used clothing and toys at consignment shops or places like Goodwill and donate your child’s gently used items as well.  This cycle of recycling really helps.

2.     Use homemade natural solutions to clean your home.  They are better for your family and better for the planet.  Here are a couple of links where you can find great “recipes” and other tips: http://housekeeping.about.com/cs/environment/a/alternateclean.htm, http://www.ehow.com/about_4777601_natural-homemade-cleaning-products.html, http://organizedhome.com/clean-house/pantry-recipes-homemade-cleaning-products.  Happy cleaning!!!  

3.     Walk; don’t drive, to local destinations, if possible, like the store or the library.

4.     Spend the day at a local park…bring a picnic lunch, gloves and a big garbage bag.  Walk around and have your child help you pick up any garbage you find. 

5.     Bring your own bags when you shop…you might want to get smaller reusable bags for your young children so that they can help carry groceries in a more responsible way.

6.     Buy local.  I realize it is not always possible or feasible to buy organic, locally-grown or produced food.  However, this not only benefits your family, but also the planet.  The carbon footprint left by foods that are flown or trucked across the country is huge…and buying locally helps the growers and manufacturers who must compete with the large corporations.  The nutritional benefits to your family include not having to worry about artificial colors, preservatives and genetically modified foods.  If you are looking for healthful recipes, my book for parents of preschoolers, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking, includes 100 easy child-friendly cooking activities, as well as 100 simple eco-friendly craft projects.

7.     Buy in bulk with as little packaging as possible.   Many stores now have a special section where they offer a wide selection of foods that can be purchased by the pound or less.  The price is usually significantly cheaper than buying the product in a box with a name brand listed on the front.

Seven simple steps…if you only do a few, you will be making an important contribution to the preservation of our planet for future generations. 

Seven simple steps…if you allow your children to participate with you, you will be encouraging them to protect our natural resources.

Seven simple steps…if we all follow them, we promote environmental awareness and the well-being of the world.

You can “like” b-kind-2-earth-day and go here for more information about what lots of other people are doing: http://www.facebook.com/BKind2EarthDay/posts/139097546162617#!/BKind2EarthDay