With spring in the air and Earth Day around the corner we are reminded of our love for the outdoors and our need to help keep it clean. This of course should not be something that we think of once a year but infuse into our everyday thinking. Often times people are intimidated by how huge of a project being a conservationist can be, however by just trying a few things differently it is easy to make a HUGE difference in your environmental impact. ***Bonus: helping the environment often saves you money (see list below)!***
The best part of thinking about the environment is involving your children. While teaching a curriculum in Peace Education for five years, this was always one of my favorite units because of how excited and dedicated the children would get. By teaching children that they can make a difference in the environment and showing them tangible ways to help, children often feel a sense of empowerment (regardless of age).
So where to start? You ask. I feel that before we begin to change our surroundings we first have to take a look around and see what it is we are looking to change. This can be as simple as taking a walk and observing the trash on the ground or going to a public park and noting if it is kept nicely or not. My daughter realized what litter was when someone left a stack of napkins on a table at our nearby park. She was horrified to see them blowing throughout the park. This opened up a discussion on what can we do to keep the world clean. The conversation is the most essential part of trying to inspire your children. It is important to talk openly about what they see, why it is the way it is and what can be done to help.
This conversation may be difficult if you yourself do not know what to say. In walks my favorite three words Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Basically everything we can do to help the environment can be labeled under one of these three categories. Often times we do them without even realizing it. In the coming three weeks I will be posting fun filled activities pertaining to reducing, reusing and recycling. Each post will walk you through why the category is important, how you can implement it in your life with ease and some super fun family filled activities that cost nothing / are great for the environment. However, I do not want to leave you hanging so below is a list of quick ways to change your environmental impact in your daily life (you probably already do some or many of these). Please note- not only are these ideas great for the environment but they save money as well!
Ways to Make a Smaller Environmental Impact
1. Unplug appliances when you are not using them
2. Turn off water while your children are brushing their teeth
3. Break down all garbage before throwing it away
4. Be sure you are recycling everything your garbage company takes
5. Reuse plastic bags you get at the grocery store (better yet, get reusable ones)
6. Get a reusable water bottle instead of using a plastic one on the go
7. Bring your children’s water cups into restaurants
8. Fill a reusable coffee cup or bring your own coffee to work
9. Choose groceries with the least wrapping and that have traveled the least distance
10. Buy gently used clothing and make sure your children’s old clothes get passed along to someone who can use them.
Written By Nicole Rowley