- At Home
When I was growing up there wasn't much talk of being eco friendly and the most my family did was take out cans and bottles back to the store to get our deposit back. I am learning eco friendly tips along the way from blogs, articles, magazines, and friends. Our children learn about recycling and protecting our environment at a young age through TV, school, magazines, and of course their parents. If you want to get kids' attention, so that the lessons you teach them really stick with them, you have to make it interesting and in a format they WANT to learn on. My kids, like most kids, love videos and video games. That is why the new Internet, interactive site, Passport for the Planet, does such a great job at teaching our kids what people world-wide are doing to lower their carbon footprint and tips on how they can be more eco friendly. Passport for the Planet is hosted by RecycleBank. The basics of the game are easy - visit the site each week and learn click on the regions they have posted to learn about how they are helping the environment. You earn points each week that add up to win some really great prizes (drawings each week for Amazon gift cards, and a grand prize winner for a trip to Plantation on Crystal River, and more!). I started the game by clicking on Europe. I learned that in Gloucestershire, UK, there is a family of three that only produces onebag of garbage a YEAR! Not only do I learn this but there is always a challenge next to the information for your kids to try. Next to the UK tip is a challenge to track how many garbage bags your family produces and find ways to lower that amount. You then need to pledge to do this and win points. Some of the challenges are tips in the form of a guide, some are action items. Only certain areas are unlocked each week to motivate your kids to come back each week. The controlling of how much info you kids can process is a great idea as it reduces the amount of time they are at the computer at one time, and they are more likely to retain the information if they aren't on information overload. I thought this website was very cool. The challenges and tips are all presented in your own Visa with great graphics. I did question the tip after reading about how in Biberstein, Switzerland they have the first natural pool which cleans the water through plants and gravel. The challenge next to this information talks about how having a margarita poolside is even more enjoyable knowing you are "maxin' and relaxin'". The challenge wasn't to drink a margarita but I'm sure there was a better way to talk about relaxing next to a pool. Of course, my favorite tip was from New Delhi, India where they hire wastepickers to pick through trash to find things that can be used to create clothing and accessories. BagInspiration gets great bags from India and other parts of the world made out of items, such as seatbelts, inner tube tires, mosquito netting to name a few, that would have just filled up landfill space. The contest ends on May 7 so check it out and try to win some of the great prizes!