8 Ways to Include Kids in Green Living
In between play dates, making dinner, driving to/from work, last minute kids parties going “green” can feel like a daunting task. We hear you. At Young Explorers Schools we’ve been upcycling and reusing for more than 40 years. Just in time for Earth Day we offer our tips to help your family get started on a greener lifestyle and a few waysto have your young explorers help.
- Save water by washing full loads. We know that with young ones around that there’s never a shortage on laundry or dirty dishes, so this one is easy. This handy green tip works for both washing clothes and dishes. Save dirty clothes in a laundry bag or hamper and use that super large setting on your washing machine. The same savings applies to washing dishes. Make sure the dishwasher is full before turning that start dial.
- Air-dry your laundry. Consider installing a clothesline in your backyard or basement, or use a freestanding clothes rack that folds up when not in use. Drying your clothes will be 100% green with the air-dry method!
- Use glass food storage containers. Plastic is the least “green” food storage container. But, if you look in most kitchens, plastic is the most often used food container. By switching to glass food storage containers, you take a big step toward living a greener lifestyle.
- Not only does the manufacturing of plastic harm the natural environment, but certain types of plastic are harmful to your families’ health as well.
- Install a new shower head. Like tweens with their long showers, older shower heads are notorious water-wasters. Switch your old one for a newer model so you can worry a little less about water usage. A new “green” shower head uses 1 to 3 gallons less water per minute than older models. That’s quite a savings on your wallet, too!
- Turn off lights when you leave a room. We know this is a toughy. Turn this into a game with the family, create a song or a mnemonic device to remember to turn off lights. You’d be surprised how many people forget to do this simple action. If no one is in the room, there can’t be a good reason to waste energy to brighten it up! With a simple flip of the light switch, a greener lifestyle is yours.
- Think before buying paper products. Sometimes paper plates, cups, or napkins are a necessity. Most of the time, they’re not. Even recycled paper products use energy during the recycling process. Look in your kitchen cabinets and you’ll probably find an assortment of little used china and ceramic plates, mugs, and glasses that could be put to good use.
- Also, turn every family meal into a special occasion with cloth napkins! Ohh, fancy!
- Recycle old tee shirts. Everyone has old tee shirts that are not worthy of donating to Goodwill. Don’t throw them out. Replace your paper towel rack with a stack of tee shirt squares. They’re soft and absorbent and best of all, reusable. Just throw them in the washer and you have an unending supply of cloths for every kind of clean-up chore.
- Use an old-fashioned broom and mop. You might think that there’s no way to turn cleaning into something fun yet… One of our friends has their 11 year old ride a hover board while pushing a broom. He loves it! Turn hover board time into clean time and get an eager helper out of the deal.
What kind of ways do you incorporate green living into your home?