Tuesday, June 26, 2012

10 Easy ways to help your kids "go green"

I must admit, I am not particularly fond of the phrase "going green". I think it's because many people are using the term because it's become the "fashionable" thing to do. It's become more about making a statement than making a difference.

I've also noticed that companies are proudly asserting that they've "gone green" in an attempt to gain more business. Again, the motive is not making a difference, rather making money from this current "trend". I truly hope that environmental awareness is not a fad. I hope that we realize how important our every day choices are and how even something that may seem insignificant to us, could make a huge impact. As a family, we've made this choice and I gotta tell you, it's not always an easy choice. We make choices everyday to be environmentally conscious. It takes practice, commitment and more practice!

I remember as a teenager when recycling had just been implemented in our town,  hearing my dad say it was a waste of time and no one would take it seriously. In fact, my dad actually took a personal stand against recycling. My mother recycled anyway!

Now, many years later I see the world very differently than when I was a teenager. I now have global awareness, that is not common in kids or even teens; and shouldn't be assumed. Global awareness and environmental consciousness is something that should be taught and modeled by parents.

As an adult, looking to the future, a future that will be handed over to my children, I see the destruction caused by our actions (all of humanity). I want to leave my kids a world full of trees, and animals and clean air.

As an adult, I am able to see beyond my own little world. I also want to set a good example for my kids. I want them to start young as defenders of the Earth. I want them to learn that they can make a difference no matter what they do. When it comes to protecting our environment , we can choose to help or to ignore. It's a choice. I choose to help. In small ways that will have a big impact.

Now, let me just say that I am not about to tie myself to a tree to save it from being chopped down and I don't use recycled toilet paper. I'm your average suburban housewife trying to find small ways that fit easily into our everyday life.

Here are some of the ways my family and I try to make a difference. If we lead by example, other people will follow.

1) Recycle cans, glass, aluminum, and paper. We have very little trash in our home because we recycle most of it.

2) Use less plastic. We started using reusable bags at the grocery store and this small change was so easy to adapt to.

3) Change your light bulbs. Sure, the eco-friendly bulbs are a little more expensive. But they last sooooo much longer, it is worth the cost. Also, think about all the energy you'll be saving.

4) Take quicker showers. This was a tough one for me. I love to take long, hot showers. So we put a timer in the bathroom and we set the timer to 5 minutes. You'd be amazed at how much time that actually is!

5) Shut off the faucet when you brush your teeth. Lots of people mindlessly keep the water running while they brush their teeth or wash their hands.

6) Use both sides of a sheet of paper. If your child makes a drawing on one side of the paper, they can just use the other side too. Do this especially when using your printer (print double sided).

7) Walk instead of drive whenever possible. When the weather is nice, we walk everywhere even the grocery store. There are multiple benefits to doing this; you get exercise, save on gas, emit less fumes into the air and you get to enjoy the outdoors.

8) Always use trash bins. Don't throw trash on the streets, at the beach, the park or any other place.

9) Compost if you can. We don't do this one yet. We're working with the township to see if we can do it.

10) Install a dual flush toilet bowl. This one does involve a small investment, but the benefits will outweigh the cost. Not only will you be saving water which helps the environment, you will see a savings in your water bill as well.

Tell me some things that you and your family do to help our Earth. I would love to get some new ideas to add to our growing list.

This post is part of Top Ten Tuesdays link up at
Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings

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  1. Great list!
    Blessings, Dawn

  2. I am not good at taking quick showers, but we try to do the rest. We also bought cloth napkins a few years ago and use rags now instead of paper towels when possible (depending on the type of mess/spill). We compost, too :) Oh and we drive fuel efficient cars.

    1. Wow, you are doing quite a bit! Impressive! I havent gotten around to a fuel efficient car yet, still driving a mini van, but hubbys car is.

  3. Nice list! I do a lot of "green" things, but I am a glutton for hot showers. I guess my best list of eco-ideas is in my article on giving a new habit a 40-day free trial.

    1. Hi Becca,

      I hear you about the hot showers! That's a tough one to give up.