On Saturday we bring you examples of women who find creative, meaningful ways to give to others. This week we’re featuring Michele S. and her five year old son. Given events in the Gulf, we can’t think of a more timely message of giving back, not only to her community and her family, but to the future of our planet.

Michele wrote to us about how she donates clothing to shelters, teaches art to underserved children and serves as a role model to teach her son about reusing and recycling clothing, materials and plants. We were intrigued so we asked her to share more about how she and her son reuse what is around them.  

Here is her story in her own words:

Michele and her son

I think it’s important to instill in ones children the idea of repurposing as much as possible and by making it fun, they are more likely to enjoy it and incorporate it into their lives. We look at everyday tasks and incorporate a new meaning, ie: my son helps shred paper, empties the basket  and takes the bag to the garbage like “santa carries his sack of toys”.

Carrying the bag of shredded paper like Santa

We read the teachers recommended supplies together so he can think of what we already have or what we need to buy, which gives him the opportunity to think outside of the box and create ownership to see if we can make or replace it with something we already have.

We also recycle seeds from the vegetables we eat allowing him to be part of the process of drying, planting, watering and watching them grow. Right now we have an avocado tree that we started from a seed that we need to repot.

Skiing around the kitchen and out the front door to the recycling bins

There are so many aspects of recycling that we can teach our children with just a little guidance and imagination.”

Every one of us lives on a budget, whether it’s money, time or material.  All of us must make choices about how we use and spend our precious limited resources.

Michele seems to have it all figured out!