Just because Earth Day 2012 already came and went, does not mean that we cannot celebrate ‘going green’ everyday.In fact, preserving our planet requires a conscious effort on a daily basis. There are many ways in which you can make ‘going green’ a fun activity for the entire family!
In fact, educating your children about the importance of ‘going green’ can have a transforming effect on our environment. After all, it is the little things that we do (our kids too,) that have a huge impact. Children can learn to ‘go green’ by doing things such as turning off the lights, conserving water, or even recycling a can.
Although children can simply be told what they should do and why it is beneficial for the environment, to really engage their attention, try to find ways to help them understand in a fun way. Generally, kids cannot conceptualize why there is so much hype about ‘going green,’ so you must find a medium that speaks to them. For example, play games or make arts and crafts that are environmentally friendly.
There is a broad range of ‘going green’ activities available, which you can participate in with your children. In fact, there are so many ‘going green’ activities these days, there is bound to be a ‘going green’ activity that every individual can enjoy.
Check out these ‘going green’ activities from Livestrong.
Tour an Organic Farm
One aspect of going green focuses on sustainable living and the growth of crops without the use of harsh pesticides. While most kids understand that food comes from the grocery store, they may not understand how the food gets there in the first place. Taking kids for a tour of an organic farm or even a fruit orchard can teach them how crops are grown and how the natural growth process is more beneficial to the Earth. Encourage kids to ask questions and use what you learn to help them create their own garden at home.
Plant a Tree
Trees help to create the very air we breathe. They are also the source of paper and wood products. While recycling can help to reduce the number of trees cut down each year, millions of acres of land are subject to deforestation every year. Plant a tree with your children and teach them how to properly care for it. Encourage them to chart its growth over time so they have a better understanding of how long it takes a tree to grow.
Host a Recycling Drive
Recycling not only reduces waste but it also reduces the use of nonrenewable energy sources and natural resources. While recycling in your home is a great way to teach kids about going green, having a community-wide recycling drive can show them the impact of recycling on a larger scale. You can host the drive at your local church or school and encourage kids to help sort the donated materials.
The concept behind recycling can also be applied to arts and crafts. Empty 2-liter soda bottles can be recycled into bird feeders while old shoeboxes can be turned into keepsake boxes for jewelry, photos or favorite toys. Empty baby food boxes can be transformed into piggy banks while the cardboard tube from a roll of paper towels can become a telescope or kaleidoscope. Making crafts out of things that would ordinarily be considered trash teaches kids the importance of reducing waste and utilizing available resources whenever possible.
Energy Savings Game
Reducing your energy usage is one of the key steps in going green, but with kids, it can be hard to keep your energy costs low. One way to reduce your energy costs is to create a reward system for kids when they are able to save energy. Show your kids simple ways to save energy, such as turning off the lights or TV when they leave the room, and offer them a small reward when they remember. Alternatively, as your utility bills decrease, you can save the difference and treat kids to a special vacation or activity.
There are countless things that can be done with your children to make them aware of the impact of ‘going green.’ Go for a hike or visit a Zoo. Show the kids the awe-inspiring planet that they are a part of. This is a great way to get your young ones excited about ‘going green’ and caring for the earth.
If you are looking for additional dynamic experiences that will help you drive home the ‘going green’ initiative, visit Southwick’s Zoo. Our amazing animal exhibits will provide an adventure of discovering. The Earth Discovery Center at Southwick’s Zoo also offers environmental and conservation education presentations with an emphasis on animal ecology, of course!