Every April, people all over the world celebrate Earth Day, and there are numerous reasons why children and teens should be encouraged to go green 365 days a year. Global warming, a potential energy crisis, and limited access to clean water are issues that point to the need to save our environment now. We all should be sensitive to protecting the planet by making conscious efforts to recycle, carpool, compost and reduce energy consumption.
It can be fun for kids to see the difference they are making by going green. Plan family projects so children can witness firsthand the results of their efforts. Recycling newspapers, cards and gift wrap; using less paper; drinking from a reusable cup or water bottle, and composting will result in fewer garbage bags being taken to the curb on trash pickup day. That is something the kids will undoubtedly notice! Conserving water usage, turning off lights when leaving a room, and shutting down computers and other electronics when not in use not only save the environment, but also will save money in the family budget. That means more money will be available to do things for the kids. When shopping for greeting cards and wrapping paper, choose recycled versions. Buying green school supplies will motivate your child to talk about his or her thoughts on the environment with students and teachers who notice the different materials. And whenever possible, walk instead of drive to the store or a friend’s house. It saves gas and provides an energy boost from the exercise.
Another positive outcome of involving children in green activities at an early age is that it teaches them about personal responsibility and discipline. Sorting recyclables, planting trees, and not using as many disposable items like cups, plates and utensils, are actions that children can point to with pride. It will have an impact on how they view the environment for the rest of their lives. Teens may be active in environmental clubs at school, so encourage them to share ideas with school administrators and their families on how to protect the Earth’s resources while at school and home.
Going green is a lifestyle that should be practiced on a daily basis. If every family member does just a little bit, it will make a huge difference in years to come. Going green is a way for children to show their love for the community and protect the environment for future generations.