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Earth Day: What we can teach our children

Our planet is amazing. On 22nd April every year, people from all walks of life celebrate Earth Day to show their support for the place we all call home.

This year’s focus is ‘Invest in our planet’ and who better to teach about doing so than those who will inherit it: our children?

It’s a super worthy cause, but can be daunting for grown adults, let alone kids. So today we’re focusing on the place we feel most comfortable: food.

Did you know that 33% of all food produced locally is lost or wasted each year?

That we throw away 9.5 million tonnes of food each year in the UK alone?

Or that trillions of gallons of water go into producing food that never gets eaten?

All these could be seen as arguments to encourage children to finish everything on their plate (!). But that’s not what this is about.

Let’s involve our kids in decisions that, although tiny individually, can all add up to make a difference to the bigger picture.

Here’s a few ways how:

Take your kids shopping locally. Yes online shopping is convenient but if you have time, supporting local growers will teach your kids about where food comes from, reduce carbon emissions and save on fuel costs. Who knows, they might pick out a new ingredient they like the look of to try and add to their repertoire.

Use the whole plant. If your kids only like the broccoli florets, save the stalks for soups and fritters. Leave the skin on root veg or turn the peelings into crisps (there’s a delicious carrot crisp recipe in April’s CARROT box). Turn radish and carrot tops into pesto.

Make food from scratch. Not only is it fun to spend time in the kitchen, making food from scratch will reduce the amount of extra plastic packaging that goes through your home.

Eat more vegetables. Of course we’d say that, but one of the best things we can do for our planet is to increase our vegetable intake and reduce our consumption of meat. If your kids are die-hard bolognese or hamburger fans, try bulking out the beef with finely diced mushroom or lentils.

Grow your own. Unless you live on a farm or are exceptionally green fingered, you probably won’t be canceling that online shop just yet, but growing a few simple vegetables of your own is good for the planet and brilliant for teaching children about where their food comes from. Our boxes often contain growing projects.

Meal plan. One of the best ways to reduce waste is to carefully plan what you buy. Getting kids involved in this is a great way to give them some control over what they eat - why not let each child choose one meal for the menu each week then help you shop and cook?

The world isn’t going to change overnight, but if we invest in our planet and the people - our children - who will be looking after it when we’re gone, the future looks a little bit brighter.

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