I recently attended a talk with Karen Weigert, former Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Chicago. Yes, Chicago has a Go Green office and our city is actually doing some great things. (Click here for Chicago’s green initiatives.)
One of the questions for Karen was how to involve children in the process of enhancing sustainable living. And I thought that was a great question and an interesting topic for a blog post.
Now unless you are a climate change denier (in which case you can stop reading here), I am sure that you are concerned about our environment and want to take steps to nurture Mother Nature. Here are some tips to make it a family affair involving your children. After all, we are leaving our world in their hands and their hands will shape the world of future generations.
Educate. Talk about the environment and the importance of being kind to nature, just as you would talk about the importance of sharing with friends, eating vegetables, or not pulling the dogs tail.
Grow things. It does not matter if you have flowers and a large garden in your backyard or only a small herb plant in your window. Either way, kids love to grow things and greenery brightens up our living environment.
Recycle. Have different bins for trash versus recycling bottles, paper, etc. If your children can throw things in the trash, then they can learn to separate items and what goes where.
Conserve energy. Turn off lights when you’re not in the room, have dimmers installed on the lights, and unplug appliances when not in use. Of course, if your children are young, don’t encourage them to play with the electrical outlets yet you can set the expectations that they turn off the lights.
Reuse. From reusable bags and water bottles, to donating used toys, to composting, you can teach your child to reduce waste that only ends up polluting the environment.
Have other fun and creative strategies that your family is using to Go Green, go ahead and share.