5 Tips for Keeping It Green With Kids

5 Tips for Keeping It Green With Kids

The very act of raising children often means creating more waste than I’d like to admit. Wrapping lunches, washing mountains of laundry, and cleaning up art and homework projects all require more plastic, water, and cleaners than I ever thought possible.

There’s always room for improvement, and I’ve given some thought about how to pass on environmental awareness to my kids. Explaining about earth-friendly detergents and longer-lasting light bulbs doesn’t really resonate at their age. I know they’ve been taught about recycling in their schools, but to a four and a six year old that’s more about sorting than what happens after the items go into the bins.

In honor of Earth Month this year, I’m sharing a few things we do in my house to encourage thinking “green.”

1.     Turning off the water when we brush our teeth. Although this is a mere speck on the landscape of earth-friendly actions, it does teach them about not wasting water. It’s also led to a lot of interesting questions about where the water comes from and where it goes after down the drain.

Turn Water Off When Brushing Teeth

2.     “Experiencing” landfills. When we travel on the highway, sometime we pass an enormous covered landfill that we can smell even through our closed windows. We talk about what those stinky hills are and how the more trash we create the bigger those grass-covered mounds become.

3.     Using both sides of the paper when we’re coloring. All kids love a fresh sheet of paper as much as they love new crayons and markers. Unless they are painting or using glitter glue or something else that prevents the paper from being flipped, we use both sides of the paper.

4.     Refilling our water bottles. Big box stores sell great character-based stainless steel water bottles with silicone straws for kids. When we’re playing outside in the driveway, swimming, or on a day trip, we use these instead of buying throwaway plastic water bottles.

5.     Planting seeds. One of my kids painted a flower pot at school, so we planted some sunflower seeds and they were obsessed with checking it every day to see if there were any sprouts. The more it grew, the more excited they were. We talked about how all plants, including their favorite fruits and vegetables started out as tiny seeds and they needed the right environment to grow—just like people.

Plant Seeds

How do you teach your children to protect the planet

Robin Saks Frankel

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