- Water: Teach them to keep the water flow to a pencil-thin stream when using the sink.
- Energy: Tell them to turn off the lights when leaving a room and to leave the lights off during the day. Natural sunlight is generally good enough.
- Toxic Exposure: Cleaning up messy little hands? Be sure to avoid anti-bacterial hand soaps and hand sanitizers that contain triethanolamine. Anti-bacterial hand soaps have been proven to cause more harm than good because they kill beneficial bacteria as well as the bad stuff and may be leading to super-strains of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. Hand sanitizers that contain the ingredient triethanolamine can damage liver and kidneys.
- Waste: Recycle newspapers, magazines and junk mail. You can present it as a game that involves sorting out the different types and putting them in their special bins for points. Assign a daily chore to help with the sorting and recycling.
- Food: Teach your preschooler how to help pick out ripe seasonal fruit and vegetables for their snacks and meals. Show them that when they have finished their fruit and vegetables, there are parts that can be composted. Involve your children in composting your food scraps, coffee grounds, etc. Get them used to seeing that food waste is not garbage but rather something that can be turned into soil to grow more food.
- Transportation: Walk whenever possible. Plan out your weekly menu and shopping needs, and go to the store once to cut back on multiple trips.
Going green is a way of living, and that means it must include your kids, too. Regardless of their age, your children can start learning what it means to live a healthier, more natural and environmentally friendly lifestyle.
We've broken down the top ways to get your kids involved in the process. Chances are, they'll be having so much fun they won't even realize they're learning. Plus, if you start instilling green values in your kids now, the more likely they are to continue a healthier lifestyle into adulthood.