My 3 year old son and I do many of my daily “gives” together. We had been planning one for quite some time and I had been putting it off due to time and my fear of picking up a hammer. Just so you know I am not “joe handy person” nor have basic building skills. But today I picked up a hammer and taught my son about reusing, recycling and how one person’s garbage can be anothers treasure.
Day 291: Give 291
The neighbourhood we live in in Vancouver has a lot of building going on of new homes. There are many old cottage style homes that are far from being able to save and new homes are going up on every block. We noticed that there is a lot of scrap wood that goes into these new homes that is thrown away and hauled off to a landfill. We walk past these building sites often and talk about what colour we would like to paint a house, what features like big windows we liked. One day I suggested we ask the gentleman at the building site if we could take some of the wood they were throwing away and we would build our own house in the backyard. A house just the right size for a 3 year old. That project started about 8 months ago by collecting the wood but it has been sitting in our garage collecting dust since. We had some extra time today and I decided it was time to build our eco-friendly house. It wasn’t going to be the perfect little blue and white cottage I had envisioned but it didn’t matter to my son. He was just happy to get his tools out, put on his hard hat and get to work.
We talked about all the special things our house would have that we should all consider when building or renovating our homes. These are my 5 tips for teaching your kids how to give back to the planet.
1) Use reclaimed wood for building supplies.
2) Have large windows for natural air-conditioning.
3) Build in a sunny spot to utilize the sun as a natural heater.
4) Have a roof that could drain rain water into a “barrel” to use to water our plants (notice the angle of our roof)
5) Decorate with eco-friendly paints that won’t hurt the planet (next part of our project)
Nicolas added some “lounge chairs” as he calls them, on the inside of the house also used from our reclaimed wood and soon the painting will begin. He has been given the freedom to decorated it as he chooses as long as it won’t hurt the planet.
It would have been easy for me to go buy some special already made plastic house at Walmart but instead we spent the time doing a special project together that taught him a few things along the way. We gave back to the planet by using materials that were right outside our back door and we got to spend precious time together doing a memorable project.
Do you have a special project you have done with your kids to help teach them how to take care of the planet? We would love to hear about it. Leave us a comment or send us a note a firstname.lastname@example.org.
Time Commitement: 1 hour