One of the best ways to live a green life is to teach the next generation the value of our finite resources. Instilling in our children the advantage of greener living is a great way to ensure a better environment for future generations. And while teaching kids about product packaging and energy conservation may seem boring, helping them live a greener life from day-to-day through family activities will make the lessons both enjoyable and long-lasting.
CONSIDER THESE GREEN ACTIVITIES WITH YOUR KIDS
• Help Kids Brush Their Teeth: one of the easiest ways to save water around the house is through careful conservation in the bathroom. Since kids tend to be notorious at wasting water, try setting aside an extra 5-10 minutes every day to help them brush their teeth. This simple activity will teach them about oral health while showing them that shutting off the faucet between during brushing is a great way to save water. Try brushing your teeth at the same time to show them how it's done! (Check out our article on using natural toothpaste!)
• Go On Regular Bike Rides: Anyone with children will tell you that kids were born to play outside and ride bikes. Instead of setting the kids loose on the sidewalk while you put your feet up on the couch, try taking them on a bike ride across town to the grocery store or Movie Theater. The kids will get exercise, you will get exercise, and regular time on the bike will teach them that you value green and healthy transportation. Maybe you'll even become inspired to start biking to work!
• Hang Laundry Together: Kids love to help out around the house, particularly when they are younger. Instill in your children the value of greener living by asking them to help hang laundry. Younger kids will love the chance to help mom and dad hang up sheets and towels to dry, mom and dad might appreciate the extra help, and the environment will thank you for using less electricity.
• Take Your Kids Shopping: A great way to teach your children about greener spending is by taking them shopping at least once a week. Instead of leaving them home with a babysitter (or even worse: the television) plan a shopping trip to the store and encourage the kids to help out. As you select groceries or other goods in the store, stop and compare similar items; ask the children which package seems to use less plastic or cardboard, then have them pick out the item that will make less garbage after it's been used. Reward them for making greener choices and then send them on scavenger hunts to find items on your shopping list that seem better for the environment.
• Work in the Garden: Regular work in the garden can be rewarding and good for your health. Teach your kids about how to cultivate organic and pesticide-free produce in your own back yard by inviting them to lend a hand. Let them rotate the composter, help them spread compost on the garden, and encourage them to pick all of the ripe fruits and vegetables when the garden matures. Don't forget to let them eat those sweet strawberries and cherry tomatoes right off the vine!
• Help The Kids Donate : Toys and unused clothing tend to pile up in a child's bedrooms as time goes by. Teach your kids the value of recycling and re-using by helping them pick out old toys and unworn clothing for donation. Instead of throwing their stuff away, they will learn that there is still a lot of value in that old pony collection or pair of jeans that are too small to wear. Occasional trips to the second-hand store will show them their old belongings are being re-used by others who need them, and gives them an opportunity to pick out a cheap new toy at the same time!
• Do an Art Project Together: Help your children flex their creative muscles and go green at the same time by making reusable shopping bags together. Using any canvas or heavy bag from the second-hand store (see the tip on “Donation” above) you and the kids can draw, paint, or glue on interesting designs, people, objects or shapes from old magazines or just using washable markers. Not only will your hand-crafted bags be unique, but they will give your kids something to be proud of next time you go shopping.