Giving a Gift to The Earth - Week 1

While writing last week's column I realised that the idea of a Gift to the Earth wasn't something I just wanted to pay lip service to. It's not just important at Christmas, but as Amanda Soule suggests in The Creative Family, something that should be continued throughout the year through small gestures and activities.

Just as you find yourself doing a little something special for a family member or friend each day, we should all be doing something special for The Earth. By that, I don't mean just the planet, but the whole Earth and its inhabitants. Like we think of our friends and family members and their special wants and needs, we should think of The Earth.

What better way to encourage our children to grow into responsible world citizens and stewards of the great gift of life, than by involving them in gift-giving to The Earth.

So, I've deicded to launch a 16 week challenge for my readers. It's a challenge I hope you'll take into your lives and continue once the "contest" is over. Each week, I'll post a new way in which we can "give back." It's up to you to interpret that as you will, together with your family and children, concentrating your efforts on what's important to you. All you have to do is leave a comment to let us know what you've done that fulfills the challenge.

Every family that participates in each family challenge will get a certificate that your children can proudly display. One lucky family will receive a Gift to The Earth prize pack with a copy of The Creative Family as well as Keepers of Life and Keepers of The Earth (and perhaps a few other items too).

So, to start the challenge, this week I ask you to consider food. Not the way we feed ourselves (that will come later), but the way we can feed others. Donating to a local food bank or SPCA; baking a loaf of bread or cookies for a neighbour; nourishing the soil with compost; purchasing a "gift" through Oxfam Unwrapped - these are all ways in which we can nourish others. There are, of course, more abstract ways, for food is not just physical but emotional and spiritual too.

I challenge your family to work together to find one concrete act you can perform this week that will feed another. Once you've done it, comment here to let me know. You have until Friday, January 08th to complete this part of the challenge.


  1. We completed two acts to achieve this goal. (Admittedly, the first we began before your post went up).

    1) We collected food for the local food bank from friends and family at our Christmas party (in lieu of hostess gifts).

    2) We bought our Globe and Mail carrier a Timmy's gift card to help keep her warm on early morning deliveries.

    Do you think these count?

  2. Of course they count! When do you actually get time to read the Globe and Mail, however?

  3. Comes every Saturday and I've read most of it by the time the following Saturday rolls around. Getting harder now that the munchkin is more mobile.


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