Okay, so it’s Earth Day today and according to some really dodgy ‘family’ website I found which had articles on ‘Making Mealtimes Fun’ (ban your children from the table?) and ‘Make Your Next Family Camping Trip a Success’ (cancel it and book a hotel instead?), it’s a ‘special day to learn about our planet and how to take care of it’. So in the spirit of Earth Day, here are ten things that we all should teach our children so that we’re doing our bit to take care of our own Mother Earth:
1. Energy is precious. This means that having three televisions on in three different rooms, plus the computer and every light in the entire house is not good karma, especially when you’re in the bath playing your Gameboy.
2. Conserve our precious water. Like when you’re cleaning your teeth and you wander back into one of the rooms where the televisions are blaring to stare goggle-eyed at the screen, you really should turn the tap off first.
3. Showers and baths need to be small to use less water. Thirty-minute showers where you sing the whole of Green Day’s repertoire and make your hair into several different mohicans with shampoo whilst trying to emulate Billy-Jo are just not cricket.
4. Wearing an item of clothing for ten minutes, then putting it in the dirty clothes basket because you ‘fancy having shorts on now’, doesn’t mean it’s dirty and needs to be washed, nor is bunging it in there an acceptable alternative to folding it and replacing it in the drawer.
5. Aim to choose products that are not over-packaged. Easter is therefore cancelled next year because Easter Eggs have five different plastic and cardboard layers before you get through to the ounce of chocolate in the middle.
6. Learn to recycle. By the way, recycling isn’t where you put the empty orange juice carton back in the fridge so that when Mum goes shopping she doesn’t buy any as she doesn’t think we need it.
7. Daddys need help learning about recycling. This means that putting everything in the kitchen bin so Mummy has to get in there and rescue all the tins and bottles from the stinky black depths leads to the withdrawal of certain privileges. Daddy will know the ones I mean.
8. Learn to re-use. Yoghurt pots make good containers for growing seeds. You could grow herbs on your windowsill so Mummy could cook with them and then you could spend ages picking all the green bits out of your food.
9. Learn more about energy consumption. Some ‘gas guzzling’ cars are really bad for the planet. Obviously these do not include the new Land Rover Discovery 3 TDV6 HSE in Lugano Teal that Mummy is currently trying to persuade Daddy to buy her.
10. And finally, one for the Mummys: tumble-drying our clothes in the middle of summer so that the entire kitchen becomes sauna-like is not an acceptable alternative to hanging clothes out. Even if, frankly, you just can’t be bothered.