So, my niece and nephew came for a visit with my brother and it got me thinking about what fun things we could do together so I could teach them a little about some of the stuff that is important to me. It also got me thinking about how my brother could continue on with this learning once they got back home.
Here are some easy ways to get your kids more interested in the environment.
Conserve Water- get your toothbrush wet then turn the water off while you are brushing. Do an experiment: collect the water one time in pans while you are brushing. Figure out how much water goes down the drain. Then figure out how much water is wasted every year if that person brushes twice a day. How about figuring it out for the whole household? Once they can picture it in their mind they will agree it’s a bunch of water being wasted.
Flick the Switch- Always turn off lights when you leave the room. Also, turn off all the lights when you leave the house, except for a porch light to make it easy to get the door unlocked. (Grown-up Tip: Install a motion sensor on porch lights so they will come on as someone approaches the house but not stay on all the time.)
Shut The Front Door! Yep, leaving doors open lets heat or a/c escape.
Gardening- Let kids have a part of your garden or if you don’t garden maybe a pot to grow some herbs or flowers in. It’s easy to get a little pot, some soil, and a packet of seeds. Keep it small and visitors can take their pots home with them to keep cultivating. Have them send pictures of the finished project.
Reward them for small steps. If you get them to recycle their trash give out high-fives. If they jump in the neighbors trash can and pluck out all the plastics a bigger reward is in order! Just kidding…sort of!
Get outside. If kids enjoy being outside they will have a more vested interest in keeping the environment clean and healthy. Camping is great if you can swing it otherwise there are plenty of community parks around where you can explore.
Reuse- Don’t forget to plow through those recyclables before you head to the store for art supplies. Many items from paper tubes to plastic cups and containers can be reused for a fun project.
Compost- Create a compost bin for all your fruit and veggie peels, egg shells, newspaper, coffee grounds, etc. Use this to mix in with your gardening soil or as a fertilizer for plantings and shrubs once it has decomposed thoroughly.