We don’t usually have our kids choose our energy-saving appliances, caulk windows or pick out a hybrid family car, so how can kids make their contribution to the “go green” effort?
Involving kids in the reduce, reuse and recycling efforts at your house is easy and will establish habits that your kids will carry with them throughout their life.
Make recycling a game
Kids love games and prize incentives. Post a chart near the recycle bin with each of your kids’ names. Each time an item is recycled, have your kids mark it on the chart. When it’s time to take out the recycling bin at the end of the week, the person with the most marks wins a prize!
Turn off the water
Kids can certainly learn to turn off the water while they are brushing their teeth. To show them just how much water is used while they brush their teeth, take a bowl and catch all the water from the tap during that time. It’s usually pretty eye-opening for them and the visual will stay with them while they get into the habit. Turning off the water also applies to taking shorter showers and not filling the bath tub to the rim.
Care of shoes and clothes
Teach kids to care for their clothes by changing into “play” clothes after school. This keeps school clothes in better condition and reduces the need to wash after each wear. As far as shoes, well, they are kids so we know that they can’t stay in tip-top condition for long. Check out shoe recycling programs like the one offered by Nike that converts sneakers into basketball courts!
Limit the video games
In addition to contributing to higher rates of childhood obesity, playing video games on both computers and game systems uses a lot of energy! Mention the green factor to your kids as you suggest reading or going outside to play instead of planting themselves in front of the TV or computer screen. When they do play, be sure the systems are shut down completely and unplugged to prevent further electricity drain, also known as vampire power.
Walk to school
Want some great exercise while cutting back on carbon emissions? Instead of taking the car to school, try walking or riding bikes. Kids could even take a skateboard or scooter (don’t forget your helmets!). Kids will feel better and be more energized when they get to school. In each case, parents can save money on gas while everyone is helping the environment.
There are many different ways for kids and grown-ups alike to go green, but the best place to start is at home when the kids are young.
Tell us: How are you raising green kids? Share in the comments below!