Healthy Children - June 2013

 

Teaching Kids to “Go Green!”

Do you remember when you were younger and how you really didn’t know anyone in your neighborhood that had asthma? Or how you could breathe on a summer day and not have to worry about what was in the air? Unfortunately, our children are not having the same positive experiences with their environment. That is why it is so important that we begin teaching our children, now, about respecting and caring for the environment. Today, everyone is “going green” to ensure we all have a healthy space to live in. Whether it’s recycling or conserving water, communities are making an effort to come together and preserve our environment. One of the best ways to teach your children to care about their environment is to set a good example. If you show enthusiasm and respect for nature and taking care of your neighborhood, your child will follow your lead. There are a lot of simple ways you can begin instilling “green” values into your child’s daily life. Below are some great tips and activities to show your child at an early age, how they can go green!

Use Fewer Plastic Bags

When you take your little shopper with you to the supermarket, give them their first lesson in caring for the environment. Choose reusable, environmentally friendly bags versus plastic shopping bags. So many stores now have durable and colorful bags for groceries. They are actually sturdier and larger that plastic or paper bags.

Teach the Conservation of Water

When they are brushing their teeth, teach your child to turn off the tap. When they are washing their hands show them that keeping the water flow to a pencil-thin stream can help conserve water.

Practice Recharging Batteries

Teach your children how to recharge batteries for their toys. This helps not only to reduce garbage, but also keeps toxic metals such as mercury (found in some batteries) from getting into the environment. The mercury in old batteries will eventually leak out and poison the water it runs into. Another alternative is to buy batteries with reduced toxic metals.

Show Them How to Recycle

Recycling is one of the most earth-friendly activities that kids of all ages can do. Children can learn what items regularly used in their homes can be recycled, from soft drink cans to detergent jugs and spaghetti sauce jars. Very young children help by separating and grouping recyclables, while older children can wash out containers and peel off labels. Teens can volunteer in the neighborhood by picking up litter and recycling trash.

Use Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs

Have your children help you replace light bulbs in your house with energy efficient ones. An 18-watt compact fluorescent light bulb provides about the same light output as a regular 75-watt incandescent bulb at a fraction of the energy cost. The compact fluorescent bulb will also last up to 13 times longer.