Tips for Creating a Greener Home with Kids

5 August 2017, Joanna Lodge

Becoming greener and more sustainable has become a vital part of our everyday life. We live in a throw-away society and although many of us are aware of what can and should be done, it’s hard to implement this into our day-to-day routines.

Getting children involved is a great way of making that happen, as well as teaching them the importance of recycling, reusing and reducing our consumption of materials, energy and water at home.

You can have fun along the way while giving children a real sense of personal responsibility over their planet. Explore some of the ways of doing this using these ideas.

Water conservation

  • Water play: Build a water station using buckets, cups and shallow paddling pools instead of playing with running water.
  • Laundry: Get the children to help you sort through dirty laundry. Talk about whether the items really need washing, or whether they can be worn again to save on over-using the washing machine.
  • Drinking water: How often do you pour away cups and bottles of water? Put markers on clear water bottles to not only encourage children to drink more, but also to not leave any water remaining. Talk about only pouring what they need. Any leftover water can be used to water the plants; the same goes for pet’s water bowls.

Energy conservation

  • Lights: Get the kids to make little post-it notes to place by the light sockets as a reminder to turn lights off when the leave the room.
  • Devices: Offer a points system with rewards for turning off devices, chargers, fans etc. when they’re not being used instead of leaving them on standby.
  • Aircon: When the kids come back from school and are hot and sweaty, make a quick shower or a trip to the pool the afternoon ritual instead of automatically turning on the aircon.

Recycling

  • Household waste: Put children in charge of recycling. Pay 1 baht for each piece of rubbish they clean and sort properly. Watch how quickly the coins mount up. Use for a trip out or donate to a charity.
  • Preloved toys and clothes: Choose local charities and learn about the benefits of donating preloved items to them. Take a trip to visit the charities and help educate the children about those in need.
  • Creative junk modelling: Have a constant supply of junk modelling available. Create a junk modelling trunk that holds plastics, paper, cardboard, strings, foil etc. that can be made into wonderful art projects.

Respect for nature

  • Feeding wildlife: Encourage as many birds, insects and butterflies into the garden as possible. Buy or make, from junk modelling, bird and insect feeders to place in and around the trees.
  • Growing herbs and vegetables: A really rewarding pastime that also teaches about the importance of happy ecosystems. And you can eat the produce afterwards, which also enables healthy eating habits.
  • Creating compost: Following the guidelines of the manufacturers, buy and install a composter. Use fruit and vegetable scraps, along with paper and cardboard, to feed the compost bin and provide nutrients for your garden.

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