Courtesy of MCC
Children often aspire to emulate their parents. Young boys who see their fathers shaving might reach for dad’s shaving cream, and young girls may find their way into their mother’s closets in an effort to dress just like mom.
Kids’ curiosity may be similarly piqued when they see their parents going green. Parents who reduce, reuse and recycle are setting positive examples for their young ones, who may inquire about the ways they can follow suit.
While going green isn’t typically categorized as a kid-friendly activity, there are a number of ways parents can involve their children in the pursuit of an eco-friendly lifestyle.
Donate Old Items
Children outgrow their clothing and toys pretty quickly. Rather than discarding items that are no longer worn or played with, box them up and take your kids along to a local donation center or thrift store to show them how their clothing and toys can be reused. Use this as an opportunity to teach them how donating or recycling old items can drastically reduce the need to use natural resources to create new ones.
Skip the Driving
Instead of piling in the car each morning to get to school, consider biking (or walking if the commute isn’t far). If you have ample time in the mornings to escort your kids to school, bike alongside them and inform them of how biking, in lieu of driving, helps to conserve fuel, which in turn benefits the planet. If biking is not an option due to weather conditions or distance, try to organize carpools; traveling in a group rather than individually helps to cut back on fuel, too!
Drinking enough water each day is essential, but instead of reaching for plastic water bottles, allow your kids to pick out a fun reusable bottle. Though plastic water bottles are more convenient, they generate an enormous amount of waste that ultimately ends up in landfills. In addition, the transportation of plastic water bottles from factories to store shelves burns through a significant amount of fossil fuel. Explain to your kids that they are doing their part to protect the planet by refilling instead of tossing.
Visit the Library
Encourage your kids to borrow books from the library rather than purchasing a brand new copy at the bookstore. Teach them that borrowing books cuts down on the need for more paper, which helps preserve our forests and reduces waste.
Appreciate the Outdoors
Urge your kids to spend more time outside and less time inside watching television or playing games. Explore with them as they engage in activities such as camping, hiking or fishing. These excursions in the great outdoors instill a love and appreciation for nature, which compels young kids to a lifetime of protecting the planet and conserving its natural resources.