Today's post is a guest post by Tara Miller, a fellow writer who enjoys writing on a variety of subjects, particularly on the subject of psychology. This post is about helping your kids to learn how to become earth-friendly in an age-appropriate way. If you enjoy what you read here, send her an email using her email address below or feel free to leave a comment! Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoy!
Small children can't purchase organic foods or energy efficient appliances. They can't swap out the furnace filter or take a quick trip over to the recycling mill on their own. But they can do other simple eco-friendly tasks around the house and community that can help them sustain the environment. Instilling these following green practices at a very young age will undoubtedly help them on their way to becoming environmentally-conscious and energy conserving young adults.
Switch the Lights Off. As a parent, it's important that the first thing you teach your child is the importance of conserving electricity. Explain to them that leaving on a light when they are not in the room will not only drain your wallet, but it will also encourage the depletion of the earth's resources as well. It's equally important that you explain to your child that leaving appliances or cords plugged in an electrical outlet when it is not in use is also draining power—so unplugging video gaming systems, the computer and cell phone chargers when they are not using them is a must. To help get started them and to make this a habitual thing, why not turning it into some kind of game? Challenge your child to unplug all the appliances that are not being used and reward them with something small if they do a good job—just make sure you warn them to steer clear of the refrigerator and other appliances that need to be on at all times.
Conserving Water. Small children can also do wonders for the environment simply by decreasing their water usages. One of the more common things that children (and adults) do is let the water run while brushing their teeth or lather up soap to wash their face. Instead, encourage your child to only use the water to wet his or her tooth brush and then when he or she needs to rinse out his or her mouth.
To stress the importance, you could always explain that by letting the water run non-stop, an innocent fish or turtle may be drained of the water supply it needs to survive. Or, you can let them watch this short video named "Don't leave the water running". Equally important, you want to try and encourage your child to take showers rather than baths since showers use less water. But you might also want to tell them that singing in the shower and doing other activities in the shower while the water is running (playing with toys for example) is also wasting water.
Walk, Bike, Take the Bus or Carpool. How your child gets to school is usually up to the discretion of the parent, but if the school is close enough why don't you encourage your child to walk or take a bicycle to school? If your child is too young, you can make it a family ordeal and walk or ride your bike to school all together. Using this mode of transportation will heavily decrease the levels of carbon released into the atmosphere—even if your child walks to school only a few days out of the week. Taking the school bus or organizing a carpool can be equally as effective at reducing smog—it'll save you a bundle on gas money too.
Recycle Together. Lastly, if you recycle allow your child to participate. Small children love being included in everything from cooking, washing the car to yes, even recycling. Allow them to help by sorting the different materials and explaining why we recycle in the first place. This one should be a breeze since even someone as young as 5 years-old knows how to identify a can made for plastic bottles from the one made for paper.
This guest contribution was submitted by Tara Miller, who particularly enjoys writing about psychology degrees. She welcomes your comments and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.