We all know the importance of living green. From conserving energy and resources to reusing and recycling, most modern families make some effort to maximize efficiency and sustainability. And if you feel like your family is falling behind in the green living department, there is good news: making your home a greener, more efficient and earth-friendly place isn’t as difficult as you might think.
Keep reading for tips on how your family can learn how to reduce wastefulness, boost efficiency and move toward a greener, more sustainable lifestyle.
Communication is essential to helping little ones understand the importance of living green. When discussing topics like earth-friendliness and sustainability with your children, be sure to use age-appropriate language, and avoid any terms that may frighten or worry them. A great way to begin the conversation is by discussing nature and its role in our daily lives.
For example, explaining to children how we get our water, electricity and other resources is a good place to start. Be sure to point out all the benefits of energy conservation, and how even the smallest efforts can yield great advantages. Next, move on to steps you can take as a family to reduce your energy usage. You can do this by brainstorming ideas, then creating a conversation chart as a tangible reminder of all the ways your family can save energy.
Having Fun with Conservation
Teaching kids to conserve energy can be just as fun as it is rewarding. Use tips like the following to up the fun factor in your family’s choice to go green.
- Power down. One or two nights a week, enjoy family fun without the use of modern devices. A few great ideas include board games, charades, putting on a play and having story time. Children may miss their electronics at first, but, chances are, they’ll come to look forward to evenings of old-fashioned family fun.
- Get crafty. Enjoy earth-friendly crafts like designing reusable shopping bags, personalizing reusable glass bottles for drinking, and creating art out of acorns, pine cones, leaves and other objects found in nature. For extra points, include recyclable items like plastic bottles and cardboard boxes!
- Enjoy some friendly competition. See which family member can conserve the most energy by timing activities like showers, television time, and hours spent using computers and other electronic devices. Tally up the results, and reward the winner with a special treat.
- Grow your own food. Teach children the importance of sustainable living by designing a family garden. Explain to children how, by enjoying fresh, homegrown fruits, vegetables and herbs, they can avoid the energy usage associated with producing, packaging and transporting food items. If you’re a gardening newbie, start small with an indoor herb garden, then expand your efforts as your green thumb evolves.
- Reduce meat consumption. Animal agriculture is the single biggest source of carbon emissions and is a huge drain on water resources as well. Even a slight reduction added up over millions of families would make a huge difference.
Products and Appliances
Thankfully, modern technology can take some of the guesswork out of green living. From energy-saving light bulbs to low-flow shower heads and accessories, modern families can choose from a variety of energy efficient household products, each one designed to simplify conservation efforts.
- Energy-efficient lighting. From indoor bulbs to outdoor and water-resistant options, energy-efficient lighting is extremely effective at conserving both energy and money.
- Water-saving devices. A few products that could help your family conserve water include leak detectors, meters that gauge your family’s water usage, and low-flow faucets, shower heads and toilet tanks.
- Weatherization products. By taking simple measures like caulking windows, making sure doors are properly sealed, and checking on the state of your home’s insulation, you can drastically reduce energy costs, as well as minimize the size of your family’s carbon footprint.
With the tips listed here, your family can live greener, save money, and reduce its impact on the environment. Get started now, and start reaping all the amazing advantages of cleaner, simpler living!