How to Pass Down Traditions of Creativity and Sustainability

Spending some extra time with your family right now? You’ll love these 5 easy easy ways to combine creativity and sustainability into fun activities for all to enjoy.
By: Christy Wilson Delk

When I was initially asked to write about this topic, the C-word was not leading every conversation. What I pondered at the time, was this: “Can we, the Growing Bolder Generation pass down our hands-on values and memories about the creative and sustainable endeavors that connect us to feelings of joy, self-love, and increased life-satisfaction?” 

Today, with Covid-19, it’s a resounding “Yes” because it’s much easier to get their attention. Not only are children and teens more available, but their parents are also eager to ‘share’ them. 

Indeed, the signs are everywhere that the time is right.  

A few things I’ve noticed in our slower-paced city:

  • Sidewalk chalk art and hopscotch games along my usual running route 
  • Drive-in theaters being noted as a new appropriate family activity  
  • Brown sugar and other baking staples are hard to find on the grocery shelf

Here are a few easy ways to combine creativity and sustainability that most children and teens will enjoy learning, and you will enjoy doing.

1. Reviving household items

You know, and I know that there is not much in this world that a good coat of spray paint won’t resurrect.  Grab an old gardening pot or a small piece of furniture and show them how it’s done. Hardware and craft stores are full of great colors and textures. If that goes well, move to advanced level sanding and staining. 

2. Teaching basic auto and bicycle maintenance

My son’s car battery died last week, and my newlywed husband was surprised that Roland and I had the hoods open and his car running before he even walked out the door.  Adding oil to the vehicle, changing bike tires, and other tasks are relevant skills to teach.

3. Personalizing and embellishing clothing  

Who doesn’t remember turning an old pair of cords into a maxi skirt or blue jeans into their favorite short skirt?  Show the girls how to fray their jeans to update the look for all lengths, including shorts. If that’s not your thing, consider bejeweling or decorative beads or stitching on their favorite denim jacket.  


4. Grilling and cooking

My son asked me this morning to show him how to scramble eggs.  He even posted a picture of this new survival skill. After the coals or propane is lit, older grandchildren can learn the basics of grilling while you sip your favorite beverage and praise their effort.  And who doesn’t love a home-made bunny cake?

5. Gardening

Sharing your passion and respect for Mother Nature with a basic lesson in proper plant watering, pruning, and repotting to demonstrate discipline and that delight that can be found in simple tasks.  Putting flowers and greenery from your yard in a vase of their choosing on the kitchen table will reinforce that the effort is rewarded and appreciated by others. 

The next time you want to get something done before the kids come over, stop to consider if it would be better shared. 

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