Children are more receptive than adults to new ways of living that will help save their planet earth. Teachers, relatives and friends need to get on board and be supportive of their efforts. There are many simple free projects that can be done with children for encouragement of healthy planet habits.
- Get them their own kids' recycled cloth shopping bags to bring to stores to use instead of paper or plastic. Hint to marketers--more companies should make these in child sizes targeting children.
- Get them their own kids' water bottles and remind them to fill them with water before leaving the house. Discourage buying bottled water, juices, and especially soft drinks in plastic bottles and cups with straws.
- Take them to a local farmers' market or co-op and teach them how to choose the best fruits and vegetables. Ask them which is better for the earth...to buy from a farmer neighbor or to buy food grown thousands of miles that has been shipped and is not fresh.
- Carpool with neighbors when getting children to school or events. Teach them less cars on the road means less pollution of their earth.
- Encourage children to put on a sweater and warmer clothes in winter instead of turning up the heat. Use fans in the summer and do not get used to air conditioning unless absolutely necessary.
- Get them in the habit of immediately unplugging anything electrical when they are not using it such as games and chargers. Do not be electricity wasters.
- Install motion light sensors so lights turn themselves off when no one is in the room. Teach them to flip off light switches as they leave a room.
- Encourage them to take shorter showers. Put a timer in the bathroom until they know how long it should take them to shower conservatively. Show them that even a five minute shower can put as much as 25 gallon milk jugs of water into the sewer.
- Toilets can waste as much as 7 gallons of water every time they are flushed. Help them put a couple inches of sand inside 2 16-ounce plastic bottles with screw lids, fill them with water and place them in the toilet tank to conserve water.
- Help children make a rain gauge to see when the garden needs water. Tape a ruler inside a container with waterproof tape like duct tape flush with the bottom. After a rain, write down how many inches are in the bucket. Teach them a garden needs about one inch of water every week to grow their food. Make a rain barrel to collect rain water from eaves and have them help water the garden with the collected water.
- Help them grow plants inside in recycled containers if there is no place for a garden outside. Even a few herb plants that they can put in their food will teach them gardening skills for life.
- Let them be responsible for a family compost pile, burying appropriate kitchen scraps in the pile, adding leaves and garden waste, and turning it as needed. Give them their own child-size shovel and let them add the compost to garden soil when it has decomposed. Show them all the worms thriving there that are good for the planet.
There are so many other ways to get children interested in protecting and improving their world. They will love to feel they are doing their part particularly if you keep doing new fun projects together. Watch the video on how small steps become habits for children or adults.