You may have recently seen our article 5 Ways to Teach Your Children to Live Green, which suggests some basic ways to get started on teaching your kids the importance of protecting the environment.
But there’s so much more to going green than learning the importance of recycling or sending your child to a green school. From the grassroots level, there are many things you can do with your little ones at any point in time to show them why being sustainable is so vital.
Today’s generation of children represents the future, and it’s more than necessary that they know how to be eco-friendly from an early age. Hopefully, the knowledge they obtain will carry with them throughout their entire lives and into the following generation.
Below you’ll find a few new ways to get started on getting your children involved in green initiatives around your home and community.
Explain the importance of organic foods
It’s really great if your family is in the habit of cooking with organic ingredients, but are your children aware of it? If not, use meal times to tell them about the healthy, organic foods you regularly purchase at the grocery store.
You can also explain to them the difference between organic and non-organic products. Engage their minds with the help of kid-friendly activity books such as the California Certified Organic Farmers’ Organic Activity and Coloring Book, which teaches the importance of organic farming in a way children are able to easily comprehend.
Help your child start a green task team
Not all schools or communities have green initiative programs for their students. Starting one is a great opportunity to help the environment while leading by example. This can be as simple as starting an after school club for parents and kids to brainstorm about ideas for recycling programs and fundraisers.
First start with a call to your child’s school and your local government to see if there are an initiatives currently in place. If not, ask how you can start a team and begin making some calls! A great example of a student-based task force is the Detroit Green Task Force Youth Subcommittee. You can learn more by visiting the City of Detroit page on our site.
Start a point system at home to encourage your kids
A unique way to raise awareness of green initiatives at home is to work out a point system that teaches your children to be conscientious of electricity and water usage.
One way to do this is to use the jar approach. Each day, add money whenever the kids do something eco-conscious such as turning off the lights in an unoccupied room or shutting off the water while brushing their teeth. Take money out of the jar whenever a light is left on or water is wasted.
Even though you should make sure the kids know the money in the jar represents money saved on a monthly utility bill, you can also make it into a reward system where the money in the jar is used at the end of each month for pizza and a movie at home as an added bonus.
Jennifer Griffin, Contributing Writer and Public Relations, GreeningDetroit.com
Jennifer is pursuing a degree in Journalism and English from Wayne State University, and she is also a Contributing Writer for The South End.