Posted by: Jacquie Fisher   

5 Ways to Inspire Kids to Go Green

"We have not inherited the Earth from our fathers, we are borrowing it from our children."

~ Lester Brown

 

Being eco-friendly takes on a whole new meaning when you read this statement.

As parents, we all work so hard to provide our kids with a good future -- 

we save money to send them to college

we help them to learn how to eat right and stay healthy.

But sometimes we need to realize that we can't always do FOR them -- it's important to teach them to do for themselves.

And that's exactly what we need to do when it comes to environmental issues.  Teaching our kids how to reduce, reuse and recycle are important life skills that they will use every day.

So today, we're sharing 5 ways to involve kids in eco-friendly behaviors around the house, easy ideas that any family can adopt and affiliate links to a few of our favorite items!

 

 teaching kids to reduce, reuse & recycle

Involving Kids in Eco-Friendly Activities

It's never to early to begin some of these easy activities and behaviors with your kids.  In fact, many times it's easier to teach these behaviors to them when they are younger.

The important thing is to get them involved -- teach them to be responsible for their actions and behaviors. 

 

Put Kids in charge of at-home recycling

1.  Promote kids to be the 'at-home' Recycling Chief

Ever since our kids were in preschool, they have been responsible for our at-home recycling.  According to DoSomething.org, over 75% of waste is recyclable but we only recycle about 30% of it!

Man, that stinks!

This is a perfect place for families to start having a positive impact on the environment.

What's involved in the job of Recycling Chief? 

  • rinsing the plastic and glass items,
  • corraling papers & newspapers,
  • sorting items into the correct bins,
  • putting the recycling container out on pick-up day and
  • accompanying us to the local recycling center when we need to bring additional items that we can't recycle from home.

Kids can easily learn these steps and do them each day. 

It gives them a sense of responsibility (and let's face it, they like to be in charge ;)  And it's a life skill they will take as they head off to school and will continue to use as they grow up!

 

Walk or bike to school to save gas

2. Walk or bike to school & friends' houses

How many times a week do you hear the kids ask "Mom, can you take me to .... ?"

School, soccer practice, a friend's house, out for ice cream ;)

Many of these places are close enough that we can walk or bike instead of using the car.

Yes, they main complain some -- especially if they are use to being chauffered everywhere -- ignore it :) 

It's not only healthy for the environment, it's also great for their health!

 

New recycled batteries

3. Use eco-friendly batteries for all those electronic devices

We love the idea of taking something old and making it new again which is exactly what Energizer has done -- they are Bringing Innovation with the newest battery on the market! 

It seems that kids can drain the battery life on their toys faster than you can say 'kizmet'!  So using an eco-friendly power supply along with teaching kids to turn OFF the toy when they are done will go a long way to reducing waste.

The new EcoAdvanced batteries are "Energizer's longest lasting alkaline ever" and perfect for all those toys and electronic devices in your playroom.  This is the first battery on the market to use recycled batteries/materials.  

 

 

Teaching kids to conserve water

4. Practice ways to conserve water

Oh, this is a biggie!!

Kids loooove to fill up those bathtubs so they can 'swim' while they bathe.

And don't even get me started on how long teens can hide in the shower!

I've found that water conservation is a difficult topic for kids to understand.  We are constantly working on this area in our house.  Reading books about the water cycle and water conservation have been very helpful in learning about this topic.  If you're looking for a more hands-on way to explain how water is a finite resource, build a LEGO model of the water cycle and kids will learn that the water we have today is the same water that was here with the dinosaurs.

There are so many times every day when we use water and should think about conserving it:

  • turning the faucet off while washing our hands or brushing teeth
  • reducing the amount of water in the tub or the amount of time teens stand under the shower
  • using less during outdoor activities (like filling up those cute baby pools)

And there's also ways we can teach the kids how to REUSE water too!  Install a water barrel and have the kids use it to water the garden/plants.  And we use the leftover water in our dinner glasses to refill the dog's water bowl each night.

 

How to pack a low-trash or no-trash lunch

5. Pack a low-trash or no-trash lunch (and eat it all!)

Getting kids involved in packing their lunches is a perfect opportunity to implement some eco-friendly ways. 

First, ask the kids to take reusable lunch bags and water bottles each day (I'm sure most families do this because it's an easy way to keep lunches intact and cool with those great reusable ice packs!)

Second, up your game by including cloth napkins the kids can use and bring home to be washed.

Third, if you send juice boxes, bottles or pouches -- find a way to recycle these items.  Some schools will offer recycling bins but more often than not, my kids have to bring home their recylable items (I love that they do this!) You can also visit Terracycle to learn how to recycle juice pouches.

And our last lunchbox tip (which I think it brilliant!) is courtesy of my husband & teenage son --

Do you see that plastic bag in the photo? 

When the boys pack lunches, my son's sandwhich always goes into a bread bag or left-over cheese bag from the deli.  Instead of using a 'new' plastic sandwich bag, they just reuse the plastic food bags that would normally be thrown away.

 

 

Earth Day Scavenger Hunt

MORE ECO-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES:

20 Inspiring Nature Activities for Kids

Earth Month Scavenger Hunt {with free printable!}

 

 

This #BringingInnovation shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. As always, all opinions are mine alone; we only share items we love and use at home! 

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Comments

 
Guest - Sarah B on Monday, 16 March 2015 00:08

Great tips!!! I want to get a water barrel this year for watering our plant and we're working on switching over to eco advanced batteries! #client

Great tips!!! I want to get a water barrel this year for watering our plant and we're working on switching over to eco advanced batteries! #client
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