We can’t just keep the planet healthy and clean for the future generation. We need to teach the next generation to care for the planet for itself. Instill responsible habits in your children, even at a young age, to prepare them for their future. Invest in them now, and you’ll be investing in the world for later.
Make going green at home into an activity for the whole family to get excited about. Make a plan for the family to tackle a new project or section of the house each week or month, instead of overwhelming everyone with too many changes at once. You can start with the trash and recycling. Put two cans in every room, including your kids’ bedroom. Work together to make a list of all the items that should be recycled. Make a pictorial list for little ones. Place the list by each recycling can. Encourage your kids to try to recycle as much as they can. Turn it into a game to see who can bring the most recycling to the big bin each week.
When you go shopping for school supplies, look for biodegradable and recycled materials. Talk with your kids about the importance of using products that won’t languish in a landfill for too long. Encourage your kids to use their paper notebooks wisely, instead of using just a few pages before moving on to another. Teach your child how to use word processing programs to edit his papers and take notes for his homework and reports and to only print them once they are ready.
When your child takes up a new sport, look at used sporting-goods stores for equipment, instead of investing in new items. When she gives it up, sell or donate the equipment rather than tossing it. Pack snacks and drinks for your child in reusable pouches and bottles. Include some favorites so that they are more appealing than the vending machine snacks. Teach him to bring the containers home for washing. Bring homemade or fresh snacks for the whole team. Instead of bringing a bunch of individually packed items, which produce trash, bring fruit, vegetables, homemade granola bars or hard-boiled eggs.
Out and About
Purchase, or better yet, make a set of personal tote bags for each of your children. Use their favorite colors or themes. Whenever you go shopping or to an event, advise them to bring their bags. Use them in place of plastic or paper shopping bags.