April 22 is Earth Day, which means kids will be coming home from school with great ideas. Most of these “great ideas” are things we parents wish we were doing already: growing our own vegetables, packing litter-less lunches, and singing Kumbayah.
I admit defeat early in the three above-mentioned Save-the-Earth campaigns: I kill house plants, I believe pre-packaged granola bars are a godsend for lunches, and I can’t sing.
So, I submit my own Earth Day tips, ones that I’m already doing.
Without further ado, here are 5 Earth Day Tips for Lazy Parents:
Tip 1: Avoid Washing Your Vehicle
Savings for the Earth: decreased water consumption
Savings for the Parent: your dirty minivan is a canvas for budding artists. With their pudgy index fingers, kids can draw hieroglyphics on the side of the vehicle, marking their territory like a dog.
Tip 2: Avoid Bathing Your Children Daily
Savings for the Earth: decreased water consumption, part two
Savings for the Parent: you save nearly 30 minutes per night by not plopping your children in the bathtub, and you avoid getting soaked yourself. If you bath your kids only every third day, that’s over two hours of time saved each week, not to mention the savings on bath and cleaning products. Plus your children’s “natural oils” help their skin to stink glow.
Tip 3: Limit the Duration of Hand Washing
Savings for the Earth: once again…decreased water consumption
Savings for the Parent: the opportunity to yell “You’re killing the fish!” every time your child leaves the tap running for the length of a Dr. Seuss book. My twins now yell this phrase at each other. And at me.
Tip 4: Morph the Recycle Bin with the Craft Table
Savings for the Earth: a focus on the second “R”: reuse. And the noble job of extending the life cycle of paper towel rolls.
Savings for the Parent: with recycling and crafts in the same space, you have reduced the carbon footprint of your disaster area. Once a week, just wheel in the blue bin, shovel the whole mess, and rejoice that your cleaning is done.
Tip 5: Say Sorry to the Earth
Savings for the Earth: not much, but there’s the myth that talking to plants helps them to grow
Savings for the Parent: a quick way to look semi-responsible when your son stomps on new shrubs and your daughter picks every half-budding flower (while you’re seated on a park bench, reading your book).
What Earth Day tips do you have for lazy parents?