Children love to help out and want often want to help out in going green and living green. Every day, you can give your children earth friendly practices and responsibilities to add to their daily routines that in long run will become green lifestyle habits. Going green and teaching kids to go green can be easy and fun. These are eco tips for children to help introduce them to the idea of going green and help them to adopt new more eco friendly habits. There are many simple actions kids can take to go green. Here are some age specific going green activities for kids from preschoolers to teens. We hope you enjoy these green ideas for kids!
Simple Going Green Activities Kids Of All Ages Will Enjoy
If you are were wondering how to teach kids to go green, the biggest step is opening the door by explaining to them what it means to go green. Naturally, children will want a healthier planet to live on and do their best to implement the eco tips for children that you teach them. It will be fun to see which are their favorite ways to go green and make green lifestyle choices.
Go Green Ideas for Preschoolers
Young children just want to be a part of everything so why not let them? They will love these going green activities for kids!
Digging for Worms
There’s nothing better than digging in the mud and being allowed to do it. Have your child help you dig in the dirt to plant container gardens for family herbs or veggies or even to dig a hole in the yard for a new tree (in their honor for good “green” behavior).
Blue Bin It
Encourage even the smallest of children to put plastic items and newspapers/magazines into the recycle bins. Make it a like a basketball game, trying to see how many plastic bottles or wads of paper they can “score” in the bin.
Encourage children to turn off the water and “plug the sink” to wash their hands with a basin full of water. Playing in water is fun but the constant flow of water isn’t for the planet. Scrub, dip and rinse (repeat for extra fun).
Pick Up Treasures
One’s man’s trash is another man’s gold, or so they say. One fun way to get little ones involved with earth preservation is to go out on a trash hunt and collect as many wrappers, papers, etc. as possible, but remember to wash your hands when you’re through! Going green activities for kids like this one are even more fun for smaller children because it is an all new concept to them.
Plant a Tree, Bush or Flower
Kids love to play in the dirt, so let them. Include little ones in on the planting fun. They love to get close to nature and squish around in the mud and they like to help out.
Children are never too young to get involved and help pick out food items at the local farmer’s market. They get to interact with all of the adults and they get to pick out their favorite fruit and veggies for the week. Let your child even hand the money over to the farmers for transactions, learning how to interact with adults and to learn about coins and paper money. This is a great place to teach your children about organic foods and sustainable farming. Here, you can talk to your children about how supporting local farmers helps the environment by involving less packaging and keeping more big trucks off the road that must travel long distances to carry food, leaving a hefty carbon footprint in their wake.
Going Green Activities For Elementary School Kids
Grade School-aged children are very helpful and love to find ways to get involved and feel important. These going green activities for kids will make them feel important and proud.
Fill the Bowl
Have your child place a bowl of water underneath the water stream while he brushes his teeth. Time how long it takes to fill the bowl. Then, have him brush his teeth without having the water running (but still have a small cup filled with water next to the sink). Explain to him that every time you brush your teeth for XX seconds, he uses up a full bowl full of clean, pure water that could be used during his bath or next teeth brushing. Then, make it a rewarded task for your child to brush each day without running the faucet. Children love going green activities for kids that are hands on like this one.
Have your children search around the house or ask friends for old eyeglasses to donate to the Lions Clubs International, in partnership with Airwear® eyeglass lenses to help put the world in focus for more people. Elementary-aged children will feel wonderful knowing that their efforts were put to worldly-good use.
Sometimes it difficult to NOT use plastic bags for school lunches, at times. Instead, offer points to your children when they bring the plastic bags back home to be rinsed and re-used later in the week. You’ll save money and keep unwanted plastic out of landfills! Point systems work well with grade-schoolers because they like to keep track of things. When the desired amount of points are earned reward them with a special movie night or plant planted in their honor. They can even help plant, making them feel their efforts created the opportunity.
Buy in bulk to save on packaging and have your child help you fill or refill up soap, cereal and snack containers around the house—reminding them that less packaging keeps our landfills less cluttered.
Walk it Off
Children love to discover outdoors, try walking with your child to school, the bus or even to the store when feasible, giving them extra fitness throughout the day.
Junk Mail Avengers
Each year, 100 million trees are cut down and turned into junk mail, with Americans receiving a total of 400 million tons of it every year. Earthworks Group, an environmental consulting firm, said cutting out junk mail is one of the most effective things people can do to reduce pollution. Don’t just let it keep coming…get on the phone and make it known that you want off their mailing lists.
Teaching Kids to Go Green in the Garden
Demonstrating to your children the value of growing one’s own food is a great way to teach your child how to live a green lifestyle. Explain to your child how for every berry, veggie, or herb grown in your garden, you will purchase less of those items from the grocery store. Allow your children to help you plant seeds, water your produce, and pick weeds children love being outdoors, getting dirty and working with their hands! If they grow tired of garden chores, enlist your children’s help in making a scarecrow using old household items and used clothing! Gardens and the bugs and birds that go along with them also present great opportunities for teaching children about nature and about environmentally friendly gardening.
Go Green on Walks
Walks are not only a great opportunity for you and your children to get some exercise together, but it’s also a great way of explaining to your children that anytime you can walk somewhere instead of driving somewhere you are being good to the environment. You can also turn your walk into a beautification project by bringing along gloves and sacks for your children to use when they spot trash along the journey. You’d be surprised how these outings turn into treasure hunts! Speaking of which, if you bring kids backpacks on your nature walks you can have some fun, educational scavenger hunts and identify different species of plants and talk about the different parts of plants and their purposes.
Teach Kids to Go Green at the Grocery Store
At the store, you can explain to your children that using reusable tote bags keeps plastic bags from ending up forever in landfills. The grocery store is also an opportunity to talk to your children about certified organic products and the importance of buying earth-friendly products and all-natural foods. Teach kids that we can vote with our wallets by making green consumer choices.
Simple Actions Kids Can Take to Go Green For Teens
Older children can really be helpful around the house when trying to green up the place! They want responsibilities to feel needed and you can always use the help. These going green activities for teens will make use of their endless energy!
Unplug unused appliance, computers, printers and iPod or phone chargers for a quick energy pick-me-up. Older children are capable and feel responsible when asked to do these trickier tasks.
Pack a waste-free lunch
Go a step further than re-using plastic bags, try to eliminate plastic bags all together, including, plastic utensils, disposable containers, and those brown bags. Instead use a PBA-free lunchbox, reusable water bottle, and silverware. Have your child help you find odd pieces of used silverware at a second-hand store so you don’t lose parts of your good set. Sandwiches, fresh fruit, vegetables and treats packaged in reusable containers are healthy alternatives to cafeteria and prepackaged foods.
Older children are safe to walk to school alone, so have your older child ride her bike or walk with friends, reminding them that they get extra fitness while staying active, saving you unnecessary driving to and from school five days a week!
Older children nowadays love to download music onto their portable music devices, so absolutely encourage them to download tunes instead of purchasing them at the store. Each month, more than 45 tons of CDs become obsolete — outdated or unwanted — and end up in landfills. AND, you can reward them with points all week long for recycling, turning off water, etc. so they can rack up enough points to earn a downloadable gift card for music, games or movies.
Donate Gently Used Sport/Activity Equipment
Older kids are involved in a variety of activities, from soccer to ballet. Encourage them to gather up unused or “grown out of” equipment to donate to co-op equipment shops, in exchange for larger equipment if needed. When kids see that they are helping eliminate landfill waste AND helping someone in need get outfitted for an activity it increases self worth and self-esteem.
It’s the Pits
When you buy deodorant for teens, try to avoid antiperspirants, which use aluminum salts to seal up your pores. In addition to being a potential health toxin, aluminum takes a tremendous amount of energy to mine. If you buy one stick of aluminum-free deodorant, the energy saved could power your laptop for 30 minutes—and any teen will tell you more laptop time is good time spent!
This is one of the most educational going green activities for kids. It’s never too early to teach your teen about green investing. Have a small amount of money set aside (perhaps from a child’s allowance) for eco-investing, where the teen can choose stocks or mutual funds that that buy environmentally friendly assets—with a little help from mom and dad. You can teach your child that green investing means buying into mainstream companies that encourage sound environmental policies and sustainability, such as energy efficiency, renewable energy and green building.
There are so many ways for kids to go green. Home is also the perfect place to teach your children about recycling and separating paper, plastic and aluminum into separate bins. Young children can rinse and crush their own cans (kids love the crushing part!), rinse out their empty milk jugs, remove the plastic bag from a cardboard cereal box and separate each into the appropriate bin. Another important learning opportunity for young children is holding random “Donation Days” throughout the year, where you ask your child to pick out the things he or she no longer uses to donate to other children, explaining how donation is another way to keep their old belongings from ending up in a yucky landfill.
Which of these go green ideas for kids do you want to try first? Do you have any suggestions for simple actions kids can take to go green? Do any of these going green activities for kids stand out to you?