VanDyk Mortgage - April 2020

SEE SPRING BLOOM In These Beautiful Locations

when waste is recycled to become a new product, but there’s a loss of quality as a result. Upcycling is the opposite: Whatever you recycle becomes a product with a higher value. One way to upcycle is to create recycled art. Use old newspapers or magazines to create collages or papier-mâché bowl sculptures around balloons, jars, or your own custom shape with chicken wire. You can also use old plastic or glass bottles as beautiful hanging planters or create a memorable wind chime from jar lids, tin cans, plastic silverware, and old rubber bands. Plant a garden. Gardening is one of the most rewarding ways to spend time outdoors. Your kids can learn about caring for another living thing and grow their own vegetables and fruits! A great way to start is to find out what’s in season in your area. If you don’t have an outdoor garden, you can pick out some Crested Butte Crested Butte, Colorado, is best known for its winter sports and summer hikes. But recently it has drawn the attention of flower enthusiasts for its unique pink, orange, and gold alpine wildflowers that appear in the spring. This natural phenomenon even inspired the creation of the annual Wildflower Festival in midsummer, which features nature walks, art, photography, culinary experiences, and more. For a truly unique experience, you can even ascend the town’s titular Crested Butte to spot some rare alpine sunflowers next to the picturesque West Elk Mountains. Antelope Valley The California Poppy Reserve in Lancaster, California, is a 1,780-acre park that features sloping hills covered with fields of vibrant orange, yellow,

I t can be tough to figure out how to switch up family game nights. Kids can be very attached to their electronics, making it hard to get them invested in anything else. With Earth Day coming up this month, you have the perfect excuse to put down the phones and get outside to save the planet. If you’re looking for ways to spend time with your kids on Earth Day, try these eco-friendly family activities! Pick up trash and make art with it. You can teach your kids a lot about downcycling and upcycling through recycled art. Downcycling is this season, miles of lady’s-slipper orchids, irises, cardinal flowers, and lilies dot its lush green landscape. It’s dubbed “Wildflower National Park” throughout this time of year, and you can experience it by car or on foot. The park also offers expert-led tours that weave through the flowers during their peak bloom. Spring is here, which means beautiful flowers are finally showing themselves after a long winter. Here are some of the best places in the U.S. to see flower blossoms and welcome the season. Great Smoky Mountains The Great Smoky Mountains National Park stretches across North Carolina and Tennessee, and while its scenery is beautiful year-round, the park is especially alluring to nature enthusiasts during the spring. Through

indoor plants or create a hanging garden with recycled bottles! Build a compost system. If you have a garden, the next best thing you can do is start composting at home! Did you know that you can compost your cardboard products? Instead of waiting for the recycling truck every other week, you can use your spare green and brown waste to create incredibly nutritious soil for your garden! Green waste includes vegetable and fruit scraps, eggshells, nutshells, coffee grounds, etc. Brown waste includes cardboard, dead leaves, paper egg cartons, wine corks, and more. Get a bin and maintain a green-to- brown ratio of 1-to-2. Layer, water, and turn the compost to keep it healthy. It can take anywhere from two months to a year, depending on what you put in and how often you turn it. We hope you and your family have fun with these planet-loving activities! Stay clean! and red poppies in the spring. Warm temperatures and heavy rainfall across Southern California during this time of year create a brief period of thick blooms as far as the eye can see. And while the poppies can be enjoyed from the comfort of your car, the best way to experience them is to walk the leisurely Antelope Loop Trail for a breathtaking, up-close adventure. Spring flora is gorgeous and naturally attracts large crowds of people every year. If you plan to visit any of these destinations, just remember that their ecosystems are delicate. Respect park signs, stay on designated trails, and do your part to make sure these flowers return year after year for future generations to enjoy.

Keep It Green

THE BEST ECO-FRIENDLY AND KID- FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES FOR EARTH DAY

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