August is already here, which means you’re busy getting the kids ready for yet another first day of school.
It can be a hectic time, but it can also be the perfect opportunity to sneak in a little educating of your own. Since I previously wrote about tips to keep your kids healthy through the school year – let’s focus on helping you and your kids live green!
The kids have had a few months of rest and relaxation, so why not take advantage of their fresh minds and boundless energy to teach them about the importance of going green?
In reality, it takes very little effort, and by just making a few changes around the house you can drastically decrease your family’s carbon footprint. Who knows, you might even have a little fun in the process.
Here are 3 tips for helping your kids go green as they head back to school.
1. Start Small
Don’t think you have to take your family totally off the grid on the first day. Start by making small, subtle changes to help illustrate the idea that going green isn’t hard. It’s just different.
- If you have a pool, replace your electric heat pump with solar sun rings, which provide roughly 21,000 BTUs of heat a day without any electricity.
- If your family likes to garden, late summer can be a great time to start composting. Leftover stalks and rotted vegetables are a great way to start the process and provide nutrient-rich soil for next year’s harvest.
- And if it looks like it’s about to rain, there’s no better time to wash the family car. Make sure you high-five your kids for saving a 100 gallons of water.
2. Reuse Resources
The start of the new school year is a great time to teach kids about reusable resources. Of course, every kids wants new clothes and shoes to start out the year, but that doesn’t mean the old stuff has to pile up in the attic.
- For every new item you buy, have your children choose one old item to donate to a local clothing donation center.
- Also, don’t be so quick to rush out and buy new school supplies. Have your kids take inventory of leftover supplies from last year, and reuse as much as possible. Sure, that old notebook might look a little beat up, but if it’s half full of unused paper, reuse it. Just because that folder says math on the cover doesn’t mean you can’t use it for English this year. Take this opportunity to restyle the cover with a fun craft project.
You don’t even have to mention that all of this green living is also saving mom and dad money.
3. Electricity Free Night
Before the school year kicks in, schedule an electricity free night once a week. Mondays and Thursdays can be great because they bookend the weekend, when the most electricity is typically consumed.
An electricity-free night is not only great for:
- Studying and finishing school projects.
- It’s a perfect excuse to do an activity together as a family, without distraction.
- Play a board game.
- Plan and execute a green project around the house, like replacing all the old light-bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs.
And don’t forget to show them the results of their energy conservation. They might not understand the ins and outs of the electric bill, but you can at least show them how little changes make a big impact.