We all want to do our share in reducing the negative impacts on the globe and reducing our carbon footprints. When it comes to making this world greener and safer for your kids, you should let your whole family participate in your green crusade to save the world. There are really simple lifestyle changes that can make a huge difference. Living a sustainable life is really simple. All you need to do is pay attention to the little things that you do and use around the house every day. Shifting towards sustainability requires adopting sustainable habits and shifting towards greener eco-friendly products. Your children can help reduce carbon footprint, save energy and resource wastage, and reduce general negative impacts on the environment.
Do you know what’s in the products under your kitchen sink, in the garage, in your bathroom, and on the shelves in your laundry room? Make sure you know what is in these products, about potential health effects, and about safety and handling.” (Household Products Database – Health and Safety Information on Household Products)
If you are using products that contain toxic ingredients, you could be putting your family at risk. Buying products that are free from toxic chemicals, ozone depleting elements and products do not have ingredients that are harmful to humans, or the environment makes you a greener customer, it’s that simple. In this article, we will give you some tips to show you how your kids can contribute to the green habits and make a shift towards sustainability.
1. Involve your kids in gardening
When you eat a cheeseburger, do you ever think of anything else other than how it’s going to taste? If you trace the ingredients back to their origin, you will realize that your hamburger had to go through hundreds of miles of transportation, processing, and packaging before being put on your plate. This process uses up plenty of energy, and produces plenty of green house gases. The lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and other ingredients that accompanied the beef in your hamburger also needed plenty of water and energy for irrigation, transportation, and storage. They were packaged and shipped to your local grocery store before you bought them. Growing your own food in your backyard garden would allow you to reduce environmental impacts and also save on grocery bills. Your children would easily connect with nature and learn to appreciate it more. Instead of being disconnected from nature, which they usually do when they get busy with their modern electronic devices, gardening is a great way to get your family together in a healthy activity.
2. Make healthy choices when eating
There is a strong relationship between the food you buy and eat, and sustainability. A few simple choices in food can have big impacts on the environment. You should know what you have in your refrigerator and freezer before you go grocery shopping. Buying food from your local farmers’ markets and buying fresh will reduce carbon emissions. Even if you buy from your local grocery stores, you should know where the food originated from so that you know how many miles it traveled before being placed on the shelves of the super market. Buying seasonal and buying fresh improves the environment as well as your health. Cooking with your kids combines environment, nutrition, and affordability, all while having a great time. Cooking with your kids and teaching them to cook will open up new dimensions in sustainability and your relationship with your kids. Let them prepare food for you and get them into healthy eating habits. When you cook more and eat out less, you will reduce food wastage, carbon footprints, and energy waste associated with food. Of course, make sure that your kids are at the proper age level for cooking.
3. Recycling reusing and rebuilding
Kids today are being taught about recycling at school. They are becoming consciously aware of the recycling rules from a very young age. Therefore, it is a lot easier today to involve your kids in recycling your household waste. You could recycle, reuse, and rebuild stuff around your house more easily, starting from your kitchen waste, which could be turned into organic compost and used for your kitchen or backyard garden. Rebuild any broken furniture, and recycle all metals, newspaper, glass, old clothes, electronics, and plastics. When kids outgrow toys or clothes, you could easily donate these items to your local charities, if they are in good shape. Having a yard sale or garage sale to get rid of the clutters at home can also be a good idea. You would be cleaning up your house while connecting with the neighbors and involving your kids, while making a little bit of money on the side. It’s a great way to have quality family time while you recycle and clean your house.
4. Walk the talk or get your bikes out
Action speaks louder than words. Don’t just talk about sustainability but take action. Back in the day, people had to walk 5 miles in the rain, snow, or even blizzards to get to school, and the roads were winding and uphill both ways. The journey to school did not burn any fossils but it burned plenty of calories. Kids today don’t seem to get enough exercise. If you live in the same neighborhood where your kids’ school is located, encourage them to walk or ride to school instead of driving them or riding the school bus. If you are afraid to let them ride alone, form ride groups or trains to school. You may also get some exercise yourself by taking some time out and riding or walking with your kids when possible.
5. Use less energy and water
Most of the energy we use to power our homes, offices, and schools comes from burning fossil fuels. Using less energy would not only mean saving on energy bills, but also burning less fossils and reducing carbon and other green house gas emission. Get your family into the habit of using less energy and water. Some electric appliances can draw energy even if they are turned off. Keep all appliances unplugged when not in use. Make sure to turn off lights and air conditioning when you leave the room. Look for energy star ratings on your appliances, make sure that your homes are properly insulated and has no leaks. Fix that dripping water faucet, and any other leaking pipes. Take shorter showers and use water saving shower heads.Wash your clothes in cold water, use a smart energy saving thermostat, and replace your old appliances with latest energy saving ones. These are just a few of the ways you can save energy and water. Visit the government’s Department of Energy sites for more information on savings.
So, these are some ideas to save energy and take a step closer towards greener living, while you get your family more involved with the green movement. Practice some of these ideas and also encourage others to practice green habits for sustainability. Together, we can make this planet a lot greener.
P.S – Please add your own ideas and thoughts at the comment box below.