Throughout the course of your life, you have developed a strong sense of values when it comes to protecting our planet. You do everything in your power to keep the Earth even cleaner and greener than it was when you entered the world, and you do so not just for your own benefit, but so that it will be a better place for generations to come. And now that you have brought your own child into the world, you want them to continue the work that you so diligently pursue. And yet, you can’t seem to get your little tyke to toss his bottles in the recycling bin or stop leaving the lights on when he exits a room. What can you do to ensure that your children start life on the right (carbon) foot, and instill the eco-friendly values that have come to mean so much to you? There are several ways to get kids involved in working for a greener environment, and the truth is, you just have to make it fun!
Recycling. Kids can be a bit blasé when it comes it comes to separating plastics and papers, so get the whole family involved in setting up a recycling center at your house with color- coded bins, and then have your kids draw pictures on the bins to show which products go into each one. You can also take them to the recycling center and give them any cash you get for turning in your cans and bottles. This will also teach them the value of work for pay.
Tree planting. As John Denver so aptly stated in his PSA from years ago, “Plant a tree for your tomorrow”. Kids can really benefit from being outdoors and enjoying the splendor of nature, so let them contribute to a scenic landscape by taking part in a tree-planting ceremony. Make a day of it with a picnic, and then bring them back every once in awhile to chart the growth of the tree they planted.
Plant an organic garden. This goes right along with tree-planting but it has the added bonus of keeping your kids toxin-free. It can also get them eating more fruits and vegetables, which every parent tends to need a little help with. Let them choose a few items that they would like in the garden and then find some recipes that they can help you make when their plants bear fruit.
Join a club. There are all kinds of organizations that kids can join that will allow them to get involved with environmentally-friendly pursuits such as recycling and conservation. The EPA Environmental Kids Club, for example, has information, games, and ways for kids to get active in their schools and their communities.
Play games. If you can’t seem to interest your children in the environment, or its imminent plight if people don’t take action, try to get them on board by introducing some eco-friendly games. Check out websites like EcoKids, National Geographic Kids, and the San Diego Zoo site to find fun games and activities that will get your kids in the right mindset to save the Earth and all of its creatures!
Kyle Simpson writes for Spirit Pins, a company that specializes in custom lapel pins and sports team trading pins.