Now that school is out consider working on a sustainability project with your children. During the school year we are so busy that we don’t always have time to make sustainable living a high priority. I’m hoping to start some good habits this summer that will carry over into the school year.
Challenge your family to increase the recycling and decrease garbage every week.
Have your kids count how many garbage bags you have on garbage day and challenge the whole family to reduce by one bag a week or one bag every two weeks. For each bag reduced the kids get a treat, like family movie night or an extra trip to the park.
One way to greatly reduce garbage is to cut out processed foods. Challenge the kids to make and eat more “from scratch” items to help decrease waste.
Start a recycling project.
If your neighborhood doesn’t offer recycling have your kids research where the closest recycling center is to your home. Make a list of the products they accept and then have your kids start a neighborhood recycling program.
Use Freecycle and Craig’s List.
When your kids want to buy something have them check Craig’s List or Freecycle first. Chances are they can find the item listed on these networks for significantly cheaper. The same goes for selling something. Instead of throwing it away help them put an ad on one of these sites to give it away or sell it.
Start a compost bin.
Do you know it is ridiculously easy to make your own compost bin? It is a great project for kids and you can start composting for next year’s garden. This reduces kitchen waste and saves money on fertilizer.
Take weekly trips to the library or set up a PaperBack Swap account.
Get your kids into the habit of borrowing books instead of buying them with weekly trips to the library. This is a great way to try out books before you buy. If your kids have too many books set up a PaperBack Swap account and list books to swap. Once you mail off a book you can pick a new book!
Reduce video games/ computer time.
Video and computer times use energy. Encourage your kids to reduce their screen time and find activities that are unplugged.
Plant a garden
In some parts of the country it’s not too late to start a garden, or at least grow a few herbs in pots. Smockity Frocks currently has a great Frugal Gardening 101 series on her site and Homeschool Creations has a free downloadable preschool pack about gardening.
Challenge your kids to use less water/energy.
Summer’s here and the utility bill is creeping up for many of us. Challenge your children to keep outside doors shut and lights off when they aren’t in a room to help decrease the electric bill. Remind them to shut off the water while brushing their teeth and take shorter showers. Put the utility bill savings in a “fun day” account and treat them to dollar ice cream or movie with the savings.
What are some ways you can encourage your children to have a greener summer?