As parents, I believe we have the responsibility to teach our kids to take care of the environment. And it’s easier than most people think.
After hearing many people talk about the movie An Inconvenient Truth, we decided to rent it from the video library. We watched it with our kids, and they were very surprised to see the world drying up right in front of their eyes.
I wasn’t sure this would have such a great impact on them. As kids, I thought they would be too preoccupied with school, friends and fun. Well, watching it wasn’t fun at all, but I was very surprised when “Earth Hour” was announced and the kids wanted to take part in it.
They didn’t complain. They didn’t talk about computers or watching a movie. They didn’t 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. This gave our home a really special atmosphere. The shower was obviously the highlight of the evening. Have you ever tried taking a shower in total darkness?
This got me thinking that as a parent, you could use some ideas for taking care of the environment with your own kids. So here’s a good list to help you and your kids make a difference.
55 ways to take care of the environment
- Take your family to the park and talk to them about the joy of being in green, clean, preserved places.
- When you’re outside, pick up your rubbish and teach your kids that, just as they don’t 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 save the environment for people.
- Turn off the lights when they’re 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.
- Use solar power.
- 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.
- Recycle your clothes. Donate them or use their fabric to make something else. The more you use, the less everyone needs to produce.
- Use your dishwasher only when you have a full load.
- Separate your garbage and recycle.
- Buy products with less wrapping and packaging.
- Use reusable bags and boxes instead of plastic bags.
- Don’t print things you don’t 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 don’t leak.
- Find ways to save water in your shower, toilet, garden and sink.
- Wash your car on the grass.
- Use energy-efficient light bulbs.
- When you heat water, heat only as much as you need.
- Reuse your containers (just be careful when using them in a microwave oven).
- Buy in bulk to save on packaging.
- Keep the over door close when you use it. If you want to check inside, turn on the light and look through the glass.
- 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.
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.
Be the change you want to see in the world
If you have any other suggestions or tips to care for the environment and make a difference in our society, please write them in the comment box below. And if you’re still not sure you want to do this, consider these powerful benefits of teaching your kids to help the world.
This world is precious, so let’s take care of it,