Kids love to help with things, especially tasks that involve helping animals and making the world a better place. At this age, kids are beginning to realize that their actions have consequences for others and the planet - so take advantage and teach them some fun and easy ways to make a positive impact on the environment.
The 3 R's At Home
- Make sure kids know what items can be recycled and where (in your home) they should put them. Not sure what can be recycled? Check out Recycle Spot to learn what can be recycled in your city.
- Using less water when taking a bath/shower and brushing their teeth is an easy way for kids to reduce their water usage.
- Use cloth napkins instead of paper napkins for meals and cleaning up spills.
- Teach kids to conserve energy by turning off lights, tv, radios and other 'plugged-in' items when they leave the room.
- Let kids play with PBS' Fetch! online to learn more about ways to 'go green' at home - fun games and cool facts!
"A Drop Around the World" by Barbara McKinney shows kids how a water drop can travel around the world and through the water cycle. Kids will begin to understand that water is a renewable resource and one that must be cared for by all.
'Going Green' At School
- Use containers in your lunch box instead of plastic bags. And if you buy lunch, only take what you will eat and eat what's on your tray - please don't waste food.
- Bring a reusable water bottle to school to use during the day.
- Walk or bike to school!
- Help recycle paper, cardboard and other items that are used in your classroom.
- Instead of buying new school supplies, look around the house to see what you can reuse from last year.
"Stuff! Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" by Steven Kroll tells the story of a mouse who must clean out his house. Kids can learn that items don't need to be thrown away when you are done using them - there's almost always another way they can be used.
In the Community
- Ask your parents to walk or bike you to friend's houses for playdates - don't take the car all the time.
- Get involved in a 'clean-up day' at your school or local park - ask a parent, scout leader or teacher to help you!
- Take reusable canvas bags to the store when you go shopping, or to the Farmer's Market in the summer.
If your kids have yet to hear the story of "The Lorax" by Dr. Suess, now is a great age to read it to them. Not only a tale of what can happen if we don't care for our natural resources, but also a positive message about how one person can make a difference.
Looking for more ideas? Read "Help Your Parents Save the Planet: 50 Simple Ways to Go Green Now!" by Playbac.