As Earth Day approaches on April 22, we become more aware of how critical reducing, reusing, and recycling are to the planet. But protecting the environment can easily become a money-saving and family-bonding effort every day of the year. Here are some simple ways to help your family become more earth friendly.

Reduce your family’s consumption, garbage, and budget.
• Buy items in bulk to reduce packaging waste. Skip paper and plastic bags by bringing your own cloth shopping bag to the store.
• Trade bottled water for filtered water in a reusable water bottle and use washable rags instead of paper towels when cleaning your home.
• Decrease energy usage by turning off lights when you leave the room and unplugging noncritical electronics.

Reuse items in fun ways.
• A swap party is a fun way to share gently used goodies, such as books and clothing, while spending time with family and friends.
• Create new meals using leftovers. Last night’s chicken breast can become tonight’s chicken noodle soup.
• Find new uses for items instead of throwing them out, such as cutting old T-shirts into rags.

Recycle plastic, paper, aluminum and glass.
• Set up color-coded bins for recyclables and use a chart to track your family’s recycling.
• Teach your children to look for items with the recycling symbol. Practice recycling scrap paper and empty plastic bottles in your homeschool.
• Start a recycling program at your local homeschool co-op, or offer to teach a class. If available, be sure to take advantage of your city’s curbside pickup.

How does your homeschool family observe Earth Day?