Living The Green Life - Living the Green Life with Kids

Getting your kids involved in your family's energy-saving efforts takes a little bit of planning, but can really pay off. Check out some of these tips from Heather on how you can help your kids live the green life.

Hi, I'm Heather from®, here with another tip on Living the Green Life.

If you have kids, you know they are not the most energy-efficient creatures on the planet. They can be messy, and forgetful, and tend to take their time. But that doesn't mean we should just give up on reminding them how and why it's important to keep our planet as green as possible. Try these tips to encourage your little ones to be greener.

Start early by setting an example. Kids do with their parents do, for better for worse. So, starting when your kids are young, remember to turn off the lights, take your own lunch to work, compost your leaves - and explain why you're doing this. Then these actions will become second nature to your kids and they will follow suit.

Give them a job. Ask your child to take charge of some energy aspect of the house. For example, it's my daughter's job to run through the house before we leave for the day making sure all lights are off and appliances are unplugged. This makes her feel like she's really contributing to the family's energy-saving efforts.

Make it fun! Start a family game night, where you play board games rather than turning on the TV or the computer. Collect reusable containers and paper to use while making imaginative crafts together. Race to see who can take the shortest shower, but still get clean! The point is to prove that saving resources can still be fun.

Set goals. So, sometimes all these good intentions don't quite work. In these cases, identify your child's weak spots and set a goal, maybe even with a reward at the end. For example, if your child just can't remember to turn out the lights when he leaves a room, see if he can go a while week without a reminder. In our family, after reaching five goals, our daughter gets to choose a family outing.

Pick your battles. While it's important for your child to learn to save resources, sometimes you have to figure out what's best for the family's sanity. For example, while showers usually take a lot less water than a bath, if you can't get your little fish to take less than a 15-minute shower, the battle is lost. Kids' interests and abilities change all the time - try again in 6 months and you may have an easier time.

As you can see, it's not too hard to live the green life with kids. We'll be back soon with more tips!

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