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Sustainability, Teaching Children Green Living

Teaching children to respect the earth and make eco-friendly choices is a great way to instill sustainable concepts into their daily lives. When children understand how the decisions that they make impact the environment, they are more likely to choose better ways of behavior. Children can begin learning about sustainability and green ideas from a very early age. Try these eight ways to teach green living to children and begin encouraging a life of responsible living in the next generation.

Going Green Saving Water

When children start brushing their teeth at a young age, one way to encourage them to conserve water is to have them turn on the faucet only when necessary. Children who start this earth friendly habit early will have a better chance of continuing this action throughout life.

Green Living, Don’t Bathe

Now it is not being recommended to discontinue personal hygiene, but it is better for the environment to shower rather than bathe. Some children enjoy playing in the bath tub, and many times this results in more water than necessary being used. Often children will continually add water to the tub in order to keep the water warm. When showers are taken, timers can be used to inform children when they should be out of the shower. This can save gallons and gallons of water each year. Best yet, younger children who shower together can save even more water.

Sustainability by Shutting Off the Lights

As soon as children are tall enough to reach the light switch, they can be encouraged to turn lights off when they leave a room. Many children are afraid of the dark, so it may be necessary to install some LED nightlights in areas that are frequented in the dark. The LED lights will use less energy and can also be on sensors to shut off when overhead lights come one.

Green School and teaching the 5 Second Rule

Children who are old enough to take food from the refrigerator can be taught to use the 5 second rule. Unlike the 5 second rule for dropping food items on the floor and acquiring bacterial contamination, this 5 second rule pertains to the amount of time that the refrigerator door can stay open. When children know that keeping the door open wastes energy, they are more likely to make a concerted effort to get in and out quickly.

Environmental Impact Inside the Home, Close the Door

Just as holding the door open to the refrigerator can waste energy, so can leaving the door open in the winter. Children who become lazy with making sure doors are closed can cause unnecessary heat energy waste. When furnaces are on, doors should be closed. The same can be true when air conditioning units are in use. If it’s on, close the door.

Recycling for Kids, Put Paper in its Place

Children in grade school frequently bring home several work papers from school on a daily basis. After the papers have been reviewed by parents, the children can then be taught to place them in a recycle bin. This will not only cut down on the amount of trash that is taken to a landfill, but it can also teach children that their work for school isn’t completed until the papers hit the recycle bin.

Buy Green, Shop Green

Children frequently accompany parents on shopping trips, so encourage them to be in charge of gathering the reusable shopping bags before departing for the store. Reusable bags cut down on plastic consumption and keeps plastic bags out of landfills. Reusable bags can be made from a number of materials, and can even be reused plastic bags. Children who actively participate in the eco-friendly habit of using reusable bags can become more accepting of other green ideas.

Thrift Shops Offer Green Deals

One last tip for teaching green living to children is teaching them early that thrift store shopping is actually trendy. There are always tons of items in thrift and consignment shops that are still in excellent condition. Many items still have the original purchase tag on them. When items are bought from second-hand stores, it keeps them from reaching a landfill. Children who are taught from a young age that these stores are just as trendy as some of the finer stores will understand early how to stretch a dollar and may not be as concerned later about fancy brand names.

Teaching children green living tips is a sustainability responsibility when parenting. The younger children are when they start learning about eco-friendly choices, the more prepared they will be to continue living a green lifestyle and to protect the earth. For more eco-friendly tips on green living, check out some of the links around this page. You will find many informative ideas on introducing sustainability into your life.

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