Growing up in the country makes the idea of going green pretty easy for me. My grandmother preached ‘waste not, want not’ to us, so I find it easy to pass that on to my children as well.
1. Reduce, Re-use, Recycle
My children are exposed from a young age on how to use our resources wisely. We pass clothes that we’ve outgrown to others, and we’re the lucky recipients of adorable boy clothes from our older cousins. We keep a box by the front door especially for items destined for the Goodwill, so that we can bless others with things we no longer need. Even my youngest son knows how to throw cans in the recycling bin instead of the trash can.
2. Ban the Plastic Water Bottles
Thankfully, we’re not big bottled water drinkers in our home. We all love our fair share of water, but we fill up our BPA free Aladdin bottles , using them at home, the gym, and at work.
3. Lose the Lunch Trash
This fall, I’ll be packing lunches for three small fry. We bypass the juice boxes and individually wrapped packages of chips and cookies. Instead, I fill a sippy cup with water or juice, and pack mini sandwiches, yogurt, Goldfish crackers, grapes and more. I try to use small bowls with lids, but when that fails, we send Ziploc bags. I enclose a note for the teacher to send all bags home, since we wash them and re-use them. No disposable utensils for us — I send our cute animal themed silverware, which always makes it home just fine. I may get inspired this year, and send cloth napkins as well!
4. Plastic Bags are so Passe
This is one area on which I really need to work! I have plenty of reusable shopping bags, but I always forget to take them to the store with me. I need to start keeping them in my car, and hopefully that will remind me to take them inside. It’s not like the reusable bags aren’t cute — we even have Disney Princess bags!
We do re-purpose the plastic bags at home:trash bags in the bathrooms, lunch bags for work, as well as kitty litter and dog droppings.
5. Ditch the Disposable Diapers
Obviously, this only works if you have children still in diapers. I began using cloth diapers with my youngest daughter when she was eighteen months old. This saved me money, kept countless diapers out of the landfills, and helped with potty training. Now, those same FuzziBunz cloth diapers are being used on our twins.
6. Axe the Air Conditioning
This may be easier said than done for those of us who live in warmer areas. We try to keep our windows open at night, and the ceiling fans on high. I put off turning the air conditioning on for as long as I possibly can. Unfortunately, once the temperature creeps toward 80, the air has to come on. The small fry don’t seem to mind the heat, but I hate being sticky with our humidity levels.
It’s a little easier in the winter to lower the thermostat. We put on an extra layer, and keep the house at a cool 68. With a down comforter on the beds, you’ll never notice!
7. Watch the Water Waste!
My small ones love to wash their hands, and brush their teeth. I’m trying to find a way to let them be independent, in taking care of these tasks themselves, without running the water full blast when I’m not looking. I’d love to hear your ideas.
8. Children can Compost, Too!
Want to teach your children about decomposition, the life cycle, soil composition, minerals and more? Show them the compost bin! They can help collect appropriate food waste, add that to the bin, and watch as the materials turn into rich compost.
Do you have other ways to teach your children that going green is fun? Don’t forget to leave a comment, so we can learn from you!
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links
When she’s not forgetting her reusable shopping bags, or filling her recycling bin to overflowing, Dianna can be found at The Kennedy Adventures, writing about homeschooling twins and a preschooler while living her Catholic faith.
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