2016 marks the 46th anniversary of the beginning of a movement that made many more Americans environmentally conscious; Earth Day. It’s never too early to teach your children how they can make more “green” decisions. Check out our list of fun and easy activities that will help get your children and family on the right track to going green!
Reduce Electricity It’s always a good idea to teach your children to turn off any electronic devices when they aren’t using them. Teach them that electricity uses energy and costs money. Have them turn off the lights as they leave the room and make sure the television is turned off when they aren’t watching. If the iPhones, Nintendo DS, or LeapPad are finished charging, disconnect them. You can even get them more involved and brainstorm other objects in the house that they can unplug or turn off when they aren’t using them. Not only will you be saving electricity, but you can also cut costs on your electricity bill!
Recycle Get your children involved in the recycling around the house by letting them decorate their own recycling bins. You can have them draw a picture to indicate what type of recycled item the box is for (paper, cans, glass.) They can have fun helping you sort all of the recyclable materials into the correct bins they created!
Start a Compost Bin Instead of throwing away all of your biodegradable materials such a food scraps, throw it in a compost bin. Once broken down, the compost is rich with nutrients and it great for your own garden. Get the children involved and make your own compost bin to keep in your kitchen or your backyard. Spoonful offers a great tutorial on how to make and decorate a compost bin of your own!
Plant a Tree or Start a Garden Kids love to get their fingers dirty and why not let them do it while also teaching them about mother nature. Planting a tree is one of the most popular activities for Earth Day. Trees are vital part of our environment. While planting a tree with your little one, let them know that trees do so much for us and everything around us. They provide oxygen for us to breathe, a home for animals, make food for us, and so much more. It’s also a great idea to plant a garden in your backyard! Teach them how to plant the seeds and water the garden as they watch their vegetables grow! They can enjoy the fruits of their labor at dinner time when they are eating their freshly grown veggies!
Help Save Water It’s easy for our children to think that we have an unlimited amount of water when they see it come out of our faucets and the water fountain, but it is very important to teach them that water is not an unlimited resource and we need to use less. There are plenty of easy ways for our children to use less water. Have them turn the water off as they are brushing their teeth. Cut down on the time that they take a bath or shower. Rather than using a hose to water your garden outside, get a water barrel to catch rain water and use that to water your lawn or garden.
Encourage Walking or Riding a Bike When Possible There are times that we can become so dependent on our cars, but they can release a lot of pollution into the air. Instead of taking the car to baseball practice at the park nearby, ride your bike. This will reduce the amount of pollution in the air and your children will have a great time!
Use Both Sides of the Paper when Coloring Coloring is such an easy and inexpensive way to keep our children entertained. If we need five minutes of alone time, we can get out some crayons and paper and it works like magic! Rather than teaching your children to get a new piece of paper after they have drawn their masterpiece, have them turn the paper over for a blank canvas! It can drastically help reduce the amount of paper you use in the house!
It doesn’t take much to get your children involved in helping with environmentally friendly activities. Children are our future, and teaching them these “green” habits at an early age can help make the earth a healthier environment for all of us!