Whether you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint, or for something as simple as wanting to cut down the cost of your bills, getting your children to think more about the environment can have a number of positive effects, including helping your children value that which they have. However, some people can take it too far and try to be environmentally friendly in every single aspect of their lives. Simply put, you don’t need to live in a mud hut to be environmentally friendly. We’ve listed 6 ways in which you can help to get the kids thinking more about the importance of the environment, and what they can do to help.
- Turning Things off When You Are Finished With Them
An incredibly simple tip but one that is certainly worth remembering! Things such as lights, music, televisions and even running the shower for longer than you need can all sap electricity and water. By being conscious of the energy you use and by turning things off after you no longer need them, you can help to reduce your bills and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time. It doesn’t take a lot of effort but it will make a lot of difference!
- Automatically Sorting the Recycling
Getting your children to automatically sort the recycling after throwing things away will help reduce your own workload and will kick-start them into thinking more about being environmentally conservative. If they know that a cardboard cereal box goes into the recycling and not into the bin, they can apply that logic wherever they happen to be and they will know that they are also doing their bit for the environment.
Recycling your old cardboard, plastic and paper is also a good way of showing the other uses of oft-discarded objects. You can save a lot of old cartons to use in craft projects which helps your kids to think outside the box and will also give you a number of fun activities where you can spend some time with your children. Recycling doesn’t have to be this boring, compulsive act. Try to think up a few ways in which to teach your kids about recycling in a fun and productive way!
- Re-Usable Tupperware Containers
Whether you buy them from the supermarket or save old Chinese pots, Tupperware containers of varying sizes have a whole number of uses. You can use them to store lunches for the kids, you can freeze portions of meals that you’ve cooked in advance and you can even use it to keep sweets and other consumables from spoiling before their use-by date. By getting your kids to use Tupperware containers instead of cling film or aluminium foil, you can make sure that they are more considerate towards saving unwanted food and keeping it for another time. Using Tupperware boxes will also make it easier to see what food you happen to have in the fridge so that you won’t waste time and money buying that which you don’t need in a trip to the supermarket.
- Thinking about Where Things Come From
If your kids know where their food and electricity, gas etc. comes from, they are more likely to think about where it is going and what effect it has on their lives. A good education is always helpful as it teaches children to be self-aware and to think about the consequences that may occur as a result of their actions.
From how we grow our produce, to the usage of fossil fuels and renewable energy solutions to create our gas and electricity, while children will gain a level of knowledge of the world from their teachings at school, you should still make an effort to reinforce these lessons. Kids who grow up with a good knowledge of how their world works and where their food and central heating comes from will have a greater appreciation for these things and will work hard to keep them.
- Effective use of Heating
If your toes aren’t falling off as a result of the cold, perhaps you just need to put a jumper on? Kids can sometimes exaggerate their discomfort, but it is important that they are aware of the consequences and the results of being too ‘trigger happy’ with the central heating. If you start seeing ice on the window interiors and your breath starts coming out in puffs of air, perhaps it might be a good idea to turn the heating on, but don’t go crazy every time it gets a little cold.
Stock the cupboards with blankets and buy some nice thick woolly socks and convince the kids to put them on if they feel chilly. Wrapping yourself up, particularly in a blanket, gives a feeling of warmth and comfort and can sometimes be preferable to simply upping the temperature, so it is a nice cosy way of reducing your carbon footprint!
- Re-using Food Waste in Compost
15 million tonnes of food is thrown away every year in the UK alone. That is a huge amount of food that is simply going to waste and it will eventually take its toll. Instead of getting your kids to throw away their waste, consider getting a compost bin so that your kids can fill it up with their unwanted food items.
If you’re looking into giving your kids a bit of a green thumb, this is also a great way to start the process when planting new seeds. A compost bin provides a rich and earthy mulch that will help new plants grow and will continue to feed growing plants, so it is a win-win situation all around!
It is important that your children are aware of what they put into the environment and not just what they get out of it. Conservation is important and it is essential that everyone gets involved and does their bit, in order to maintain a stable environment for generations to come.
Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer working together with Sussex-based central-heating, boiler system and renewable energy specialists BSW Energy, who were consulted over the information in this post.