Children are a product of their parents. Whatever healthy or unhealthy habits you have, your children will likely adopt for themselves. If you lead a green lifestyle which encourages environmental awareness and promotes energy efficiency, then you are setting an example for your kids to be green adults!
What types of things can you do to teach your children to respect their environment and adopt a green attitude?
If possible, walk or bike to school twice a week. Vehicles emit chemicals that are harmful to children. Explain to them that by not using the car, you are reducing the carbon emissions and smog into the air. It's also great to walk for your own health as well!
All those electronics kids use require a lot of energy! Remind them to turn off the TV when they are not watching and to turn off the computer when they are finished. Easier said than done, I know! Particularly, unplug their cell phone charger from the wall when the phone is completely charged. Leaving the charger in the wall continues to draw electricity just like a vampire, even when not in use!
Encourage hand-me-downs! Passing down barely worn clothes such as snow pants, boots, and 'worn only once' dress clothes is a great way to save money or help out a friend. Sports equipment that children out grow is another option. Baseball mitts, cleats, and helmets are costly items that are great to pass down to a neighbor or family member!
Plant a tree together. While you're at it explain that trees clean the air by absorbing pollutants as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. One tree produces nearly 260 pounds of oxygen a year. Two mature trees can provide enough oxygen for a family of four!
Ditch the plastic bottles and purchase cool, colorful reusable water bottles for each member of the family. Only 10% of plastic bottles are recycled, with 90% going to landfills or littering our oceans and land! You can buy plain aluminum bottles and personalize them with markers and paint.
Use reusable cloth bags when you shop. To make it fun, you and your kids can make and decorate your own bags! Craft stores carry plain cloth bags, fabric paints and pens. Pick up a few and make them as gifts! Use your imagination and personalize your own bag!
Add one more holiday to your calendar: Earth Day! On April 22, Earth Day festivities happen all over. Try to participate in an Earth Day activity with your child to show that you believe in making changes that will have a positive effect on your environment and your child's future on earth.