Do you want your kids to understand what it means to be environmentally conscious and eco-friendly?
It's actually surprisingly easy to teach, and there are plenty of ways in which you can make going green into a lot of fun for the whole family.
Here are some ideas for activities that will get them excited about going green.
Take the kids down to your local park and do a family litter pick. As you walk around the park with your litter picker bags, talk about what kinds of rubbish people have left behind and how this rubbish might affect other living things, and what would happen to it if nobody came to pick it up.
For a few extra points, point out any smokers in the park. Ask kids what they think would happen if we didn't do anything to try to protect our environment.
Your kids can have the thrill of planting a tree and watching it grow from a small sapling to a big tree. They can look at the changes in the seasons as leaves turn brown or fall off during autumn and as flowers start blooming in spring.
Having kids take ownership of their own tree will motivate them to care for it and also motivate them to understand the role of trees in our environment.
You can grow and eat your own organic garden. Not only will you be helping the environment by not using pesticides, fungicides or herbicides, but you can save money by growing your own food. You may even be able to make a few dollars selling surplus produce at farmer's markets, or donate them to family, friends or neighbors.
Have your kids help you plant and water the seeds. You can even include some of the foods you grow in their school lunches. Pack it all in reusable containers (along with a drink in a reusable water bottle of course) and let them enjoy eating something made with ingredients they grew themselves.
This is one that I remember doing myself as a kid, even before sustainable living was really a thing.
Have your kids leave a bottle or container outside in the backyard to collect rain water, and record how much water it picks up over a week or two. It's a great way to start learning about the water cycle.
You can then use it to water plants indoors. It beats tap water any day.
Kids have an amazing amount of energy, and most times it's much better for them to walk or cycle places instead of you driving them. This will benefit their health as well as cut down on air pollution, as well as reducing your (and their) carbon footprint.
You may encounter some resistance at first, but once you teach them why this is so important they'll soon warm to the idea, and what kid doesn't enjoy riding their bike on a sunny day?
Invent a simple game of giving rewards (such as stickers or bottle tops) for every energy saving activity your kids do each day. Give a reward if your kid hits a certain target at the end of each week or month.
Anything that uses less energy can be included. Incentivise them to take shorter showers, turn off lights when they leave the room, or turn off the TV and play outside more.
You're probably buying eco friendly laundry detergent anyway, but did you know you can actually make your own?
A simple mix of water, baking soda, salt and castile soap is all it takes, and the homemade stuff actually does a pretty good job. You can get the complete instructions here.
Recycle everything you can find, including milk cartons, boxes, and soda cans. You can even make it into a fun and friendly competition. Whoever gets the most recycling each week wins a prize.
If you haven't done so already, make the switch to energy efficient bulbs.
Compact fluorescent light bulbs, for example, are a cheap and effective way to save energy, and with a little guidance, older kids can safely be put in charge of changing the bulbs in your home.
Remember, as parents you also need to set a good example yourself, especially in anything that related to your kids. If you don't, they'll notice and you'll have a hard time justifying why you don't practice what you preach!
Buy rechargeable batteries, reusable bottles, and eco-friendly products. Buy books and school supplies made from recycled paper. Wash clothes in cold water wherever possible.
If you're not sure where to start, these green living tips will help.
If you have any trash that can't go in your recycling bin, don't throw it away.
Instead, be creative and think about how you can reuse items in a craft activity. Plastic bottles can make a great rocket ship, for example.
This has long been a favorite game in our household.
Wash out your old soup cans, then cover them in paper or even paint them in bright colors. Then turn them upside down and use them as skittles.
It's much more fun than a trip to the bowling alley, but be warned - it can be both addictive and very competitive!
While we're on the subject of making new things out of recycled items, have you ever thought about turning old clothes into cloth napkins?
It cuts down on waste and you can even show kids how to use the sewing machine at the same time.
Activities that help us respect the environment are called go green activities for kids. They can be simple or elaborate and fun but they all teach how to act sustainably, protect our environment and take care of nature.
Teaching kids about green issues is important. However, it should be fun and exciting as well, especially if the issue is new and unknown to them. This way they'll feel more attracted to learn facts and be willing to try out new activities on their own in real life.
Activities that teach kids about going green are important because children learn best by playing. They can't retain knowledge of what they learn if they don't like the activity and the subject or if it doesn't seem to be relevant in real life.
It's good to start with an easy project first, then move on to more serious issues once their interest and familiarity level increase.