Happy, Healthy, Greener New Year from Red Tricycle! olivebarn_2081_19974696

You know the New Year drill…eat less, exercise more – blah! How about a year’s worth of easy-to-keep New Year’s resolutions that involve the kids, preserve Mother Earth, and won’t require giving up that mid-morning mocha?

1. Create. Begin the New Year by creating a calendar of socially conscious commitments for the coming year — you and the kids fill the seasons with eco-friendly ideas. A simple list on the fridge works, or get crafty and create a calendar using templates, or your own recycled paper — backs of cereal boxes make sturdy pages. Then, jot down a few resolutions to complete as the months go by.

2. Give. This winter, have the kids gather and donate last year’s toys to local charities. Toys for Tots had a hard time this season, so start there. Another great one is Seattle Children’s Hospital.

3. Grow. Come Spring, plan to plant your own garden — even a small, indoor potted herb garden is a kid-friendly starter project.

4. Share. Food banks and shelters tell us volunteer requests peak around winter holidays, but dwindle in summer when need is still high. When the weather warms, find a food bank near you, and take your donations on the bus — kids will get a thrill and learn we don’t always need to drive. Still throwing food in your garbage bins? Little ones will love painting and decorating a compost bin for the kitchen and filling it daily.

5. Savor. Last but not least, go local and organic. Farmers markets and grocery stores both carry local produce. How’s that for a fresh start to the New Year?

–Matina Fresenius