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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Teaching Children to go the GREEN WAY

In our bid to save our planet, every bit of effort counts, and children are the best way to invest in a greener, more viable future.

Here are some tips to get your kids to appreciate the Earth and thus understand the part they can play to Save the Earth.

Home is not only where the LOVE is but also the place where BEST practices can be inculcated. As kids spend the majority of their time at home, you, the parent are the first and foremost person who can and should teach about the EARTH, how our environment and resources are being depleted every day and how simple acts on "OUR" part can make a difference.

Short and Sweet - Everyone can save water and energy by taking shorter showers. Did you know that every two minutes shaved off just one shower can add up to to an impressive ten gallons of water every day.

Cool case - Teach your child to make snappy decisions when it comes to choice of snack or food when opening the fridge. The refrigerator is the biggest energy consuming kitchen appliance and opening the fridge door accounts for between $30 and $60 of a typical family's electrical bill each year.

Clear choice - When it comes to packing away leftovers, choose glass or porcelain storage containers over plastic ones. Share facts about the extended period needed to degrade plastic and teach kids that fewer chemicals are likely to leach from the container to food and cause health risks this way.

Running resources - Remind your child to keep taps turned off while brushing his teeth. This way we can conserve up to five gallons of water a day.
Brushing teeth


Bagging it - when shopping for grocery, encourage your kids to bring along their own bag instead of using plastic bags. If it is only one small item, consider not using a plastic bag at all. In Singapore, about 2.5 billion plastic shopping bags are used each year. That's equal to 2500 bags per family annually. If each family uses one less plastic bag a week, that means 50 million less plastic bags in a year!
Recycled Grocery Bag


Entertainment - Keeping children entertained is big business. As a huge amount of resources, marketing and research is dedicated to the entertainment industry, the by product is a tremendous amount of waste produced. Families and kids who go green when having fun can help save the volume of waste produced through this Entertainment industry.

Making book - smart choices. Take kids on trips to the library or second hand bookstores. Encourage them to share their own books with friends or take them to a charity drive to donate away their old books. Over 3 billion new books are sold yearly, which requires no less than 400 000 trees to be chopped down.
Library


Picking the right kind of treats. Encourage children to buy loose or unwrapped candy from sweet bins where possible. A large proportion of sweet wrappers contain additives that make them stain - resistant but they are also harder to break down.

Choosing downloads. I am not talking about Pirated Media. Teach or help your kids to download music from online music stores instead of buying music CDs. This not only saves costs but also reduces the number of CDs that end up in landfills every month.

Renting, NOT buying. Feeling like watching a video over the weekend. Then do make a trip down to the rental stores instead of purchasing DVDs and VCDs off the rack. In the US alone, 100 000 DVDs and VCDs are discarded each month!
DVD Rental


Partying the Green way. Thinking of celebrating your child's next birthday. Instead of shopping for premium, cardstock quality invitations, classmates could be sent RSVP slips in their emails.
During the party, let the guests eat off glassware instead of disposable paper or plastic plates and use recycled paper napkins.
Gifts can be requested sans gift wraps and ribbons as these items also take a toll on the environment.

Recycled crafts. Creative and fun ways to recycle your cards
How to recycle wrapping papers into crafts and other great ideas


School. Apart from home, your child will spend many of his hours in school. There are plenty of opportunities to help keep the Earth Green in the School too.

Paper, Paper Everywhere. Almost half of all school waste comes from paper in its various forms. Writing paper, drawing pads, notebooks, schoolbooks, test sheets, hand outs and many more. While a good chunk of this does get recycled, more often than not, these papers just get discarded.

School canteens are culprits too. School canteens and cafeterias not only produce a sizable amount of waste daily in the form of food packages, wrappers, drink boxes and bottles, they also churn out large amounts of waste in the form of food scrapes that go uneaten and discarded without a second thought.

Teach kids to pack a waste-free lunch. Do away with plastic bags, disposable plastic utensils and containers, paper napkins and food options that require plastic wrapping that won't break down easily. Instead, show children how they can prepare healthy recess and lunch options in reusable containers. Children can exercise the option of what they would like to have for breaks and can also have control over the amount they would like to take along with them. This not only eliminates waste but also makes healthier meals.

Why the school bus rocks. Get kids signed up for the school bus service instead of taking trips to school in cars. This will also give junior a chance to natter with his mates on the way to school.
School bus


Get stationery savvy. Most markers contain harsh chemicals that can leak into groundwater from landfills, so choose markers that are non-toxic and refillable. Pick pencils made from recycled materials and those that are packed in recyclable material.

Paper Chase. Choose writing material for kids (and yourself) made from recycled contents and opt for paper that doesn't contain chlorine. Post-consumer recycled paper requires 44 per cent less energy to produce, reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 37 percent and produce 48 per cent less waste.

Concept to Teach your Kids

Non- renewable resources

Resources of a more limited supply that include oil, natural gas and coal. Because these resources aren't sustainable, we could run out of them and be forced to seek alternative replacements or solutions. Recycle items made of non-renewable resources or opt for purchases made of renewable materials.


Global warming

Sometimes called climate change, this is when the Earth's average temperature begins to rise. This can lead to more intense storms and weather patterns and can increase the likelihood of diseases spreading faster and farther around the Earth.


E-waste

Consists of any discarded electronic appliance. These contain parts made of hazardous materials that require proper disposal to prevent them from leaking into groundwater. Sell, donate or recycle appliances instead of junking them.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous chris said...

Excellent tips. You do know that children are the main reason for Global Warming...LOL

April 23, 2008 at 3:41 AM  
Anonymous Hot Momma said...

These is wisdom in this post. Thanks for sharing it.

April 24, 2008 at 6:54 PM  
Blogger Erica said...

This is great advice. I am going to use some of those tips with my son.

April 25, 2008 at 1:51 AM  

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