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There’s no doubt that my husband and I want to raise eco-conscious kids.
We just bought our first home and we have been thinking about how to make simple changes around the house to decrease our impact on the planet. But, honestly, there are times when I get slightly overwhelmed with the topic of raising greener kids. Which is why we came up with this simple list of changes that we start right now to be a greener family without feeling overwhelmed!
10 Simple Changes To Raise Eco-Conscious Kids
It seems simple, but getting kids involved in the act of recycling is a life long gift. I grew up being the one who put the boxes away in the recycling the minute that we opened up a new toy or a box of cereal. It’s a quick way to get kids in the habit without any fuss!
2. Light Ninja (or Princess…)
The best job in our house is the light ninja (or princess as my daughter prefers). Before we leave anywhere, one of the kids runs around to check that all of the lights are off. Not only does it save on electricity, but it reduces your carbon footprint.
3. Who can turn it off first?
This something that we do while we brush our teeth or wash hands. We try and turn off the water as quickly as possible in between brushing or putting soap on our hands. This way we don’t leave the water running. My kids love trying to see who can shut off the water first. It’s a simple habit to stop wasting water while you brush or wash hands.
4. Use cloth instead of paper
Let kids clean up with rags instead of paper towels. I find that cutting up old burp cloths and swaddle blankets make for great rags and my kids love the colors!
5. Pick the local plants for your yard
Go to your local botanical gardens and let kids take pictures of their favorite plants. Put those plants in your yard especially if you live in an area that is at risk for droughts. Some cities or counties will even pay you to replace all of your turf or grass for native plants (check our your local water supplier).
6. Donate Toys
This one can be a little tough for little ones, but it’s such a great habit to build. Take toys to your local thrift shop and teach kids about this different way to recycle.
7. Daily Drinking Glass
Each morning, the kids know that I’ll fill one water cup for them to use throughout the day. Not only does this encourage my kids to drink water, but it avoids us having multiple water cups used throughout the day. We keep our water glasses in one spot in the kitchen so they always know where to find them!
8. Give Clothes to Friends
My daughter wasn’t keen on sending off her favorite dresses to “someone else” when we were trying to donate clothes (she was only three at the time, so it was a hard concept for her), BUT she loved to idea of giving clothes that no longer fit to a friend. It was the start of her understanding what it means to donate to other people.
9. Buy Local Food
Take your little one to a farmer’s market. Let them spend a few dollars on something that they want to try. It’s a great chance to talk about where food comes from and while some food is driven in trucks across countries to get to stores, others are grown near your home. Better yet, visit a local farm where kids can pick the food for themselves!
10. Use Responsible Products
This is one that we are really working on. A great example is TOM’s of Maine products who not only use natural ingredients for their toothpaste and deodorants, but also try to reduce the amount of packaging that they use. TOM’s believe that we should “Start Young. Live Green.” and I couldn’t agree more.
You can even pick their products up at Walmart!
My daughter loved the silly strawberry toothpaste saying that it was, “the best toothpaste EVER” and my husband loved the peppermint anti-plaque and whitening toothpaste because it actually tasted like peppermint – it tasted fresh and he loved it (and, he’s hard to win over)!!
You can get your $1 off coupon for TOM’s of Maine products here!
What It Takes to Raise Eco-Concious Kids
In my experience, raising eco-conscious kids isn’t about lecturing them or forcing them to do certain things around the house, rather it’s about making green habits apart of your family’s daily routine.
Becoming a greener family starts with a few simple changes.
How are you raising green kids?