There are many activities that your family can enjoy together that will promote a stronger family bond while adding an appreciation for the environment. Finding ways to promote a healthy planet and a happy family, while having fun is a great way to celebrate spring. Read on to learn more ways that your family can enjoy each other and help the planet at the same time.
1. Visit an Organic Farm
Nothing is more fun that spending a warm spring day at your local farm. If you live near a farm that raises animals, it is the perfect time for your children to experience the beauty of new life. An animal farm will be teaming with baby chicks, newborn sheep, goats, cows, horses and piglets - all of which your family will delight in. If you live near a farm that specializes in fruits and vegetables, such as our very own Cascadian Farm in Skagit Valley, Washington, it is the perfect opportunity to learn about sustainable organic agriculture methods including; preparing the land for planting, composting, natural pest repellent techniques and the water shed. It is also the perfect place to grab a strawberry shortcake or fantastic icecream cone!
2. Start your Garden
Now is the time to start preparing your garden for early spring planting. You can start by planting the cold-crops in your garden including; broccoli, peas, lettuce, spinach, and cabbage. You will also want to plant your strawberry patch and other bare-root plants. You can start your your tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers inside from seed, ensuring that the seedlings will be large enough to plant in your garden when the weather permits. Now, is also a great time to remove any non-native plants that didn't survive the winter and plan to replace them with draught-resistant, native plants that are also edible.
3. Invite the Birds
One of the first signs of springtime is the chirping of the morning birds. To prepare your yard for feathered visitors, take the time to clean, sand and repaint (with Eco-friendly paint) your bird houses, feeders and bathes. Visit your local bird shop to educate yourself on the types of birds that live in your area and what types of foods and shelters they prefer. When choosing foods for the birds, consider organic ones, free from synthetic pesticides.
4. Get Spring Cleaning
Springtime is synonymous with spring cleaning and now is the time to get your family involved. Check out these Eco-friendly cleaning supplies. Then, assign each member of your household a part of the home to thoroughly clean. Make sure that you clean out the rain-gutters, get your rain harvesters ready for those spring showers and clean your refrigerator coils. The idea is to make sure that everything in your home is in good working condition. If you get the entire family involved, they will appreciate your home a little more.
5. Plan a Spring Break Staycation
Spring Break is right around the corner and many families may not be traveling due to economical hardship and to lessen their impact on the environment. However, you can have a fantastic spring break, close to home. Plan a family camping or hiking trip, or spend the afternoons strolling through your local nature center or botanical gardens. Your family doesn't have to venture far from home to have a fantastic time. There are so many great activities that can be enjoyed in your local community - just look around.
6. Get Ready for Fun
Early spring is the essential time to get your warm weather gear in check. Pull the bicycles, canoe, kayak, hiking boots, and camping equipment out of the garage. Check to make sure that everything is in good working condition and order any necessary replacement parts. Check to make sure that your child's rain gear and hiking boots still fit and spend a little time making sure that you have all of the supplies necessary for an impromptu trip to the lake or camping adventure. Clean and pump up the tires on the family bicycles and get ready for the fun, warm days ahead.
7. Plan a Family Nature Day
Whether your family is into hiking, biking, camping or canoeing, plan a family nature day around your favorite outdoor activity. You can find many great national and state parks that are perfect for a day trip. Let each member of the family have a say in how you will celebrate Nature Day. Prepare the backpacks with an organic, high-energy lunch, water, and snacks and then hit the great outdoors. Don't forget your hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and rain gear!
8. Adopt a Pet
Springtime is a great time to adopt a pet from an animal shelter. The weather is warm enough to potty train and your new pet will have plenty of outdoor time to play and run. Your children will be home from school in a few short weeks, making the perfect time for them to bond with your new arrival. Since, many animal shelters are filled to capacity with animals that need a second chance at life - adopting a pet is one of the best things you can do this spring.
9. Build a Composter
Gather the tools, supplies, and your family member together to build a family composter. Children love to work with hand tools and it is the perfect opportunity to discuss the importance of composting with your children. If you live in a home that doesn't have space or doesn't allow a composter, you can consider purchasing an indoor composter or make a simply, fun children's' composter to show your child how composting works.
10. Shop for a CSA
If you live in an area that offers a CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture), spring is the time to join one. A CSA gives consumers the opportunity to purchase local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Usually, a family will sign up for a membership and in turn will receive a box of vegetables, fruits or other farm products each week throughout
the farming season. A CSA will give your family the opportunity to get to know the local farmer who grows their good, allows you to eat food that is local, fresh and in season and become exposed to new vegetables that your family may not be currently eating. It can have a huge impact on your family, community the the CSA farms. You can find a CSA in your local area at Local Harvest.
What Eco-friendly activities do you have planned for your family this spring?
Photos by Jennie Lyon