I grew up taking "nature walks" with my dad, where we'd hike through local forest preserves and learn about the plants, animals, and trees we saw along the way. One of my favorite memories from childhood is taking those special walks. I feel that it's crucial that my children develop an understanding of nature and an appreciation for the environment, so I've started doing similar walks with my own kids. Those of you who follow me on Instagram might remember how, in celebration of Earth Day, Essley and I spent an afternoon exploring the Sonoran Desert while were in Arizona. We had so much fun looking around and talking about the things we saw, and it was a great way to teach Essley about Earth Day and why it's significant to the bigger picture.
Essley talked about our desert adventure for days afterward, and I started thinking about ways I could take the experience a step further for her. I decided to create a couple of gifts that would incorporate memories from our special day and also emphasize the importance of respecting the environment through items that were reusable rather than disposable. To do this, I turned to my favorite place for making unique photo gifts, Snapfish.
The first project I worked on was an Everyday Canvas Tote, to give to Essley as an Earth Day gift. Essley sees Robbie and I use reusable bags rather than disposable ones everywhere from the grocery store to on our travels, and I thought by having one of her very own, she could get a better grasp on the concept of why that was a responsible action to take. And by including a photo from our desert exploration day, it would also tie in the lessons we learned there about the environment, in addition to making the bag even more special because of the wonderful memory it would showcase. Creating the bag was incredibly easy and only took a few minutes. I just uploaded a photo from my computer (you can choose photos from social media or your phone as well), and then had fun playing around with the different themes, decorations, and fonts. In the end I chose a simple font and spelled out "you are my sunshine" over the image, both because Essley and I sing that song to each other everyday, and because we talked a lot that day about the sun and its role in keeping our earth and its inhabitants alive and healthy.
The other project I created was a 15 oz Travel Tumbler that Essley could give to Robbie as a gift. Robbie is a big coffee fan and since he is constantly traveling for work, is often ordering coffee out or drinking it at the venues where the band is playing. He has a reusable mug but it's pretty beat up, and I knew that it would mean so much to Essley to be able to present him this travel tumbler that featured a photo of us from our Earth Day celebration adventure. I also felt it would be another great way to give her a little lesson on eco consciousnesses, by explaining to her why mommy and daddy choose to use reusable cups for our coffee rather than disposable ones. As with the Everyday Canvas Tote, it was a quick and simple process to create and purchase.
Creating my Earth Day inspired gifts on Snapfish was such a fun experience, but the best part was, of course, the act of giving them. Essley was absolutely thrilled with her bag (she calls it her "earth friend bag") and has been using it alongside us at the grocery store and to carry her stuffed animals and library books. And she couldn't wait to give the Travel Tumbler to her daddy, who, like her, was thrilled to receive it. She told him it was "for his coffee to be nice to the earth," which I actually find to be a pretty accurate description.
From the act of spending time in desert in an effort to appreciate the environment to creating tangible memories of the experience through Snapfish photo gifts, this Earth Day was a great success. I plan to order more of their reusable photo gifts for friends and family members over the coming year, and to continue to teach Essley why reusing is such an important part of respecting the earth.
If you'd like to order some beautiful photo gifts of your own, you can take 60% off (!!!) both the Everyday Canvas Totes and 15 oz Travel Tumblers at Snapfish with code MELISSAEARTH through June 30, 2017. Woohoo!
How did you celebrate Earth Day this year?
This post is in partnership with Snapfish. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible.
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