How Your Family Can Achieve Green Status This Summer
By Jillian Amodio
It seems every year more and more families are taking the initiative to go green. But what exactly does it mean and how can this be beneficial? The process of becoming more environmentally friendly is easier than most believe.
Teaching children to be conscious of how our actions impact the environment is a lesson that shouldnt be overlooked. What better way to ensure a bright future for our children than by teaching them to love and care for the world around them?
Children love hands-on activities. Planting a garden teaches children about the growing process while also providing a chance for active play. If a garden sounds like too much work, try planting a tree. Trees offset carbon emissions and have a substantial positive effect on the environment. Children will take pride in watching their family tree grow.
Do your kids know what it means to recycle? Getting the whole family involved in recycling can be a fun and educational way to teach children about items that can be reused. Have the kids help sort out what items are garbage and what items are recyclable. Many items typically tossed in the trash can actually be recycled, including empty toothpaste tubes, plastic flower pots, junk mail and broken clothes hangers. Make it a game to see who can find the most recyclable items. For a full list of recyclables check out www.aacounty.org.
A simple lesson on conserving energy will go a long way with young minds. Encourage children to turn off lights after leaving a room and to turn off the faucet when not in use.
Another environmentally friendly action is using a compost bin. Many items that would usually be thrown in the garbage can actually be used for compost. Egg shells, fruit and vegetable peels and rinds, used tea bags, stale bread, cheese, facial tissue and pet hair are just a few items that can be composted. The compost can then be used to enhance a personal garden. Contact the Anne Arundel County Recycling Office for a free compost bin at 410-222-7951.
Talking to children about donating unwanted items, like clothing and toys, not only encourages a more ecological way of life, but helps them become more aware of the needs of others.
Going green does not have to be difficult. Simple changes in everyday routines can have a drastic impact on our carbon footprint. Challenging children to live a more environmentally friendly life will benefit them far beyond their childhood.
Jillian Amodio is a local resident, wife, mother, author, public speaker and licensed daycare provider.