I swear I’m not going to preach to you about saving the Earth. My devotion ebbs and flows on a daily basis. Some days I’m very deliberate about recycling even the smallest scrap of paper (my kids are obsessed with scissors). Other days I only have energy to yell out, “turn off the water!”
In the spirit of this complete no-judgment zone, I’ve offered ideas that take very little effort to ideas that may require a trip to Lowe’s. The important thing is getting our kids excited about this planet we call home (or telling them to make enough money for a seat on SpaceX’s future flight to Mars).
For the laziest of us mamas:
- Turn off light switches. When I say, “save the Earth,” my kids immediately look to see if they turned off the bathroom light. I could just as easily say, “you better get a job to pay the light bill,” but they like feeling as if they are really participating in something important. If your little one is too short to reach the switches, put a stool under a frequently-used switch so he can participate.
- Turn off the water! Ok, this one is more difficult. My kids love to play in water, especially when washing their hands. I’ve tried to teach them to lather soap with the water off, but alas, it tends to fall on deaf ears. If it’s really an issue in your house you can try a product that attaches to your facet which conserves water. See Amazon’s choice here so you don’t even have to leave the house to buy it!
For mamas who want to do a little more:
- Recycle. If you want to make this more fun for your kids let them sort it just like Peppa Pig. We bought the stackable containers so we could separate paper, plastic, and aluminum. It’s worth the fun, even if we combine it all together later. Watch the Peppa Pig Recycling Episode on YouTube to get them excited.
- Reuse. Even better than recycling! I found the best way to do this is by reusing things for art projects or creating “new” toys. My daughter gets super-excited over toilet paper rolls. We will also go through their artwork and take out half-finished projects for them to work on. Don’t forget the use-both-sides-of-the-paper rule!
- Feed the birds in the winter. My kids like this one because they have a natural tendency to nurture animals. Me? I’m like, “those birds have been feeding themselves since the beginning of time!” Birdseed is pretty cheap, though (just saying). More information on feeding your backyard birds can be found at the Humane Society.
For mamas who I will have trouble relating to (seriously, you’re making the rest of us look bad):
- Plant a garden. My thumb is so far from green. My husband and mother-in-law plant gardens with our kids, and they LOVE it! To get them excited, let them pick out the seed packets they want to plant. A garden also helps kids understand that food doesn’t magically appear in a happy meal box!
- Adopt A Road. Does the idea of picking up trash in the Georgia heat sound amazing to you? Then we’ll really never be friends! Okay, but seriously, this is a good one for older kids who understand road safety. To get them excited, invite their friends to help and make it a party! I plan on doing this one with my kids (eventually) for several reasons. It shows them in order for something to get done, they have to actually do it themselves. They’ll be able to see immediate results. The Earth was dirty, now it’s clean, and I did that! It also gives them something to be responsible for. If your kid asks for a puppy, get them a road instead! Most counties have a convenient website to get started. For example, here is the link to Gwinnett County’s Adopt A Road program.
The point is not the actual action itself (well, obviously for the Earth it is), but the point is to get our kids excited about saving the Earth. Hopefully this excitement will turn into a life-long passion for keeping our Earth healthy! In the alternative, start ordering books on Mars!
Let me hear from you, too! How do you get your kids excited about saving the Earth?