Family: Go green and grow together
The effort to go green is one which should be instilled from a young age. More than just being healthier and happier, it teaches both adults and kids the importance of preserving the environment and offers the promise of a better future.
Responsibility is one of the most valuable lessons we can teach our children; best done by being responsible ourselves. This is especially true when we teach our children to go green by caring for our environment and our surroundings.
What is going green?
Green–the color of grass, limes, green beans, peas, some mold, camouflage clothing and cactus (to name a few). But ‘green’ is also the word used for being conscious of the needs of the environment and living in such a way that you meet those needs.
Learning to go green may be as simple as using paper and not plastic, cloth instead of disposable diapers, walking or riding a bike whenever possible and switching from aerosol sprays to pump spray bottles. Or if all you can see is green (not due to envy), your home is probably constructed of chemical-free materials and you may wear 100% cotton for everything.
How green should I go?
That’s the beauty of being green; how in-depth you go is all up to you. The thing to remember, though, is that ever little bit helps. Everything you do, big or small, to reduce pollution, protect the ozone, eliminate the chemicals you are exposed to internally and externally–they all count.
Paint me green, call me clean
It’s never too early to teach your children to go green. If we start teaching our children to go green when they are small, it will come naturally to them by the time they are out on their own–keeping the world in a more natural state for them to live in and to enjoy.
- Go green by using cloth diapers instead of disposables
- Go green by using cloth napkins instead of paper ones
- Go green by using old socks or squares of flannel instead of disposable cleaning cloths
- Go green by using glass instead of plastic for storing food
- Go green by using paper or cloth shopping bags instead of plastic
- Go green by planting trees and flowers in your yard to add oxygen to the air
- Go green by cleaning the air in your home with live houseplants–the peace lily, ferns, mother in-law’s tongue and bamboo are especially effective
- Go green by packing both yours and your children’s lunch in reusable containers
- Go green by recycling and re-purposing items such as clothing, plastic containers and magazines
Make it fun
Making these changes in your family’s life won’t seem like much to your kids without adding the element of fun to the process. When going green is made a journey or event rather than a process, kids will jump on board with more enthusiasm. To do this, consider the following:
- Buy plain cloth shopping bags and fabric paint. Let the kids decorate them
- Teach children to be responsible for the house plants
- Allow children to purchase fun and colourful reusable lunch bags and water bottles
- Involve your children in planting and tending to a small garden
- Go on family hikes; taking trash bags and safety gloves for picking up litter
- Help your children organise a yard sale to sell their outgrown clothes and toys
- Have a family contest to see who can come up with the most creative ‘green idea’
Going green and growing
As parents, we want the best for our children. By going green, we are giving them the best chance to enjoy the world around them for all their lives.