We all want to raise kids who care about planet earth. We also know that to foster environmental consciousness in children, it’s important to engage with them, encourage questions, and inculcate good habits early in life. But going green can seem like a daunting task to many families. We would all like to do our bit by driving an electric car, but this is not possible for every family. Moreover, questions are still being raised about the safety of electric cars. So, what can parents do to teach their kids to save the earth (without breaking the bank)? Here’s a list of 20 easy-to-implement ways to help your family go green.
1. Plant trees. Talk to your kids about how trees cleanse the air we breathe by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
2. Drive less. Instead, walk, ride bikes, carpool, or take the bus to get around.
3. Bundle up. Heating homes in the winter can use a lot of energy. Put on a sweater, bundle up in a blanket, or use space heaters instead of turning on the central heating. Consider getting an energy audit to find out if your home is losing energy.
4. Save electricity. Turn off the lights when you leave the room. Unplug electrical appliances that are not in use.
5. Save water. Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth or lather up your hands. Shorten your shower. Fix those leaky faucets.
6. Re-use plastic containers. Don’t buy bottled water – refill instead. Recycle the plastic you can’t re-use.
7. Go green on groceries. Re-use plastic bags or buy cloth bags for your groceries. When shopping, don’t put every fruit and vegetable in a separate plastic bag.
8. Recycle. Before you throw something away, ask, “How can I re-use this?” Think of ways to re-use newspaper, cans, plastic and glass bottles and keep them out of the garbage as much as possible.
9. Recycle old batteries and sell unneeded electronics (phones, televisions, computers, etc.) to keep them off our land and out of our oceans.
10. Start composting. Install a composting system in your backyard to turn kitchen scraps into fertiliser for your garden.
11. Spend time outdoors. Instead of remaining glued to laptops, tablets, and smartphones, encourage outdoor family time, enjoying nature.
12. Go organic. Eating locally-grown organic food is healthier and better for the environment. Farmers’ markets are cheaper than the organic aisle at the supermarket. It’s better to shop locally as the food travels a shorter distance from farm to kitchen.
13. Use eco-friendly cleaning products. The cocktails of chemicals in householder cleaners can be bad for your family’s health. Going green will minimise the impact of cleaning chemicals on earth’s water and air.
14. Celebrate a green birthday. Here are some to show friends how much you care for planet earth.
15. Re-use gift wrapping paper or buy gift bags and re-use them.
16. No idling. Idling automobiles are a waste of resources and damage the environment with exhaust emissions.
17. Save paper, save trees. Ask for e-mail bills instead of paper bills. File taxes electronically. Read the news online instead of a newspaper. Use cloth napkins instead of paper napkins. Join a library and share books and magazines instead of buying new ones.
18. Take the stairs instead of the elevator and save electricity. It’s also good for your health.
19. Buy gallon-sized shampoo and conditioner. You save money. You throw away less plastic. You make fewer trips to the drug store. Re-use travel-sized bottles by refilling for every trip.
20. Wait until you have a full load of laundry. Wash your clothes in cold water. Line-dry your clothes when possible.
None of these ideas is difficult to implement and many of them will save you money. For more tips on saving energy and using environment-friendly technologies in your home, visit https://www.usa.gov/green.
*This is a collaborative post.