Greening Your Kids
We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children. ~Native American Proverb
Often people ask what they can do to help their kids become green. After all, what better way is there to teach strong values than going green? You teach them to cherish what they have, conserve for the future, and live lightly. As well, the world we live in is truly their world. Most kids really take nature and the health of their world in a deeply personal way.
One way to impart this lesson is to teach them this mantra:
Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.
Here are some specific things your kids can do at home:
Reduce what you use.
Kids can reduce their water usage by turning off the faucet as they brush their teeth and wash their face. Quick showers are also a plus. Have them calculate the savings. Most showerheads flow at 2.5 gallons per minute, while most faucets flow at 2 gallons per minutes. How much do they save if they cut their usage of each by 2 minutes per day? Next, help them multiply it by every family member over an entire year.
Do the “toy exercise.” Sit down in their room and examine with them which toys they play with and which ones they ignore. That toy that they REALLY, desperately, had to have often sits forgotten in the closet. This exercise allows you to remind them of all of those toys that they never played with, the next time you are shopping. Then they can begin to understand the concept of putting off impulses, and assigning priorities to what they truly want and will use.
Reuse what you have, or find another home for it. Some examples of kid-friendly ways to do this are to have a garage sale with them, or they can help you collect items and get them to a second-hand shop or charity. You can buy books second hand or visit the library. The library can be a magical place for kids. Emphasize the importance of giving our things more than one life before they end up in a landfill.
Recycle. Kids are enthusiastic recyclers, especially if they understand why they are doing it. If they are old enough, they can research your local recycling rules and set up a recycling system for the house.
What does going green teach them? That less is more. That what they do makes a difference. That their world and their futures matter, and they can have an influence. Before you know it, your kids will be greening you. Just last week, my son politely reminded me to turn off the water in the sink. I smile at that.
What have you done at home with your kids that you can share with us?
Bogomolny.Vladislav at Sat, Aug 09 04:06 PM:
I realize how important to teach kids green. Personaly I find it very difficult to explain it to my kid. I got inspired by the mantra right away. So I wanted to understand what it means. Here what I got from the article:
Reduce: Reducing water consumption on my kid's account is wrong. I have to find other ways to do it.
Reuse: Other peoples worth less than me so I can sell or give away used things to those people. This is wrong again.
Recycle: Teaching that less is more is wrong in everything. Before you teach kids you have to make sure the rules work.
Sorry, this mantra didn't work for me.
Wordbird at Sun, Aug 10 08:18 AM:
Wow! Sure didn't work for you.
For me it's great! Kids can learn to be appreciative and pay attention to the water they use.
Kids can learn that paying attention to where used things go, sharing them, and not dumping new, unused or perfectly good items into the landfills is a worthy effort.
And kids can learn that when you notice what "stuff" you truly want, you value, treasure and look after it better. Instead of just collecting clutter and things on impulse.
They can also contribute to making this planet a safer, healthier, better place to live for their futures. For me, that works.
iyswjc at Sun, Aug 10 11:34 AM:
educating the next generation is key too advancing the future. we live "off the grid" and my kids understand the importance of turning off lights and not running the water. since we have a limited amount of power and water they know not to waste it (or are at least understanding the concept being only 2 and 6 years old).
We are by no means perfect but i believe the more they grow the better we as a family will become. we will discover and teach each other green ideas. it also helps get them motivated when they actually help in a green activity such as composting and using it to plant flowers and vegetables.
as long as they understand the importance things will happen much quicker
JEDITEECH at Sun, Aug 16 05:07 PM:
I love the term Generational Taxation, not the current affects of it though!
It truly is their earth, not solely theirs of course! Upon closer scrutiny it is easy to get caught up in how unsustainable most aspects of our consumeristic economy, and energy intensive lifestyles are!
Teach them Green, teach them right, theirs is a huge challenge... teach them strength!!!