After hearing many people talk about the movie “An Inconvenient Truth”, we decided to rent it from the video library. We watched it with the kids and they were very surprised to see the world drying up right in front of their eyes. I was not sure that it would have such a great impact on them, because, as kids, I thought they would be too preoccupied with school, friends and fun. Well, watching it was not fun at all, but I was very surprised when “Earth Hour” was announced and the kids wanted to take part in it. They did not complain, they did not talk about computers or watching a movie, they did not even say anything when we suggested taking a shower in the dark.
We made our last phone calls to friends, then turned the lights off and spent a nice evening by candlelight, which gave the house a special atmosphere. The shower was obviously the highlight of the evening. Have you ever tried taking a shower in total darkness?
As parents, I believe we have the responsibility to teach our kids to care for our world. And it is easier than most people think. Here are some tips to make a difference.
- Take your family to the park and talk to them about the joy of being in green, clean, preserved places.
- When you are outside, pick up your rubbish and teach your kids that, just as they do not litter at home, they should act the same in our “global home”.
- Have a garden and teach your kids to care for the garden. If you live in an apartment building, have pot plants and take care of them.
- Every year, plant new things in your garden.
- When you go camping, put out your fire properly. Be careful with cigarettes and fire in the bush.
- Have a compost bin and put your organic waste in it.
- When you fish, make sure you follow the rules of fishing. The rules are there to protect the fish, but in the long term, they protect the people.
- Turn off the lights when they are not needed.
- Avoid long showers.
- Use water-saving appliances. Consider the water rating before you buy.
- Walk instead of driving.
- Ride a bike instead of driving.
- Walk up the stairs instead of using the elevator (it will make you healthy too).
- Car pool if you can.
- Install a “half flush” in your toilet.
- Use public transport if you can.
- Open your car windows from time to time.
- Hang your clothes outside to dry instead of using a dryer.
- Use your washing machine only when you have a full load.
- Use your dishwasher only when you have a full load.
- Use solar power.
- Recycle your clothes. Donate them or use their fabric to make something else. The more you use, the less everyone needs to produce.
- Separate your garbage and recycle.
- Buy products with less wrapping and packaging.
- Use reusable bags and boxes instead of plastic bags.
- Do not print things you do not have to. Learn to adjust your computer applications to make text easy to read.
- Use recycled paper.
- Print on both sides of the page if possible.
- Use emails as much as you can to save printing.
- Pay your bills online (and choose to receive email statements) to save tons of paper waste.
- Be careful what you wash down the sink (avoid disposing of oil, paint or hazardous chemicals).
- Use a strainer in your sink.
- Plan your shopping. If you buy more than you need and have to throw it away, everybody loses.
- Use leftover food and make new dishes with it.
- Turn off taps and make sure they do not leak.
- Find ways to save water in your shower, toilet, garden and sink.
- Wash your car on the grass.
- Use energy-efficient light bulbs.
- Reuse your containers (just be careful when using them in a microwave oven).
- Buy in bulk to save on packaging.
- When you use your oven, avoid opening the door.
- When you heat water, heat only as much as you need.
- When you bake, try to do all your baking on one day, so you only have to preheat the oven once.
- Clean all your filters.
- Use timers for electric appliances.
- When you mow your lawn, use the cuttings for compost.
- Borrow equipment from people to avoid buying something you rarely use.
- Lend other people your equipment, for the same reason.
- Find out natural alternatives for chemical cleaners.
- Reuse envelopes.
- Use old magazines and phone books for arts and craft.
- Avoid using disposable plates, cups and cutlery.
- If you can work from home, do it.
- Buy used furniture.
- Try to fix things before buying new ones.
Be the change you want to see in the world
– Mahatma Gandhi
Remember, the best way to teach your kids to be considerate to their environment and their future is by showing them how through examples. Coupled with an explanation about the importance of saving the world from dying, it has a greater impact. After all, kids are mirrors of their parents.
If you have any other suggestions or tips to make a difference in our society, please write them in the comment box below.
This world is precious, so let’s take care of it,