Taking care of the Earth is important, and much like it’s never too soon to start teaching your child about saving, it’s never too early to start introducing them to environmentally friendly habits, either.
If you want to teach your child to go green but don’t know where to begin, here are some simple ideas to help you get started. These activities are manageable for busy families who are on the go, and best of all, they’re budget-friendly, too.
Teach Your Child to Turn Off the Tap
The average person uses 101.5 gallons of water per day. Multiply that by the number of people in your household and it can lead to a sizeable water bill each month. 2.5 gallons of that total usage per person is estimated to come from simple hygiene tasks, such as brushing teeth. Get your child in the habit of turning off the water while they brush, both to help conserve water and lower your monthly bill.
If you’re looking for a larger impact, have your child switch from baths to showers. If they stick to a 10-minute shower, they can save an average of 16 gallons of water.
Involve Your Child in Composting
In the United States, food waste is estimated at 30-40% of the food supply. According to the USDA’s website, sending food waste to landfills causes them to be one of the biggest sources of methane, a greenhouse gas, in the country.
While you may not be able to eliminate all the food waste in your home, you can engage your child in learning how to recycle unused foods by creating a compost pile. This can help repurpose wasted food into nutrient-rich soil that can be used to help plants grow.
Keep Your Car Parked
Car trips of under a mile add up to 10 billion miles driven in the U.S. each year. If trips of under a mile were walked or biked instead of driven, the EPA estimates that the United States would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 2 million metric tons.
If your child is able to walk or bike instead of drive to school, a friend’s house, or an activity, encourage them to do so. Aim to keep your car parked more and you may see rewards for the environment, your wallet (think of the gas money you can save), and your health.
Embrace Your Child’s Inner Artist
Rather than using plastic bags at the grocery store, have your family switch to reusable totes. To get your child involved, purchase a blank canvas bag and allow them to decorate it with fabric paint or markers.
Whenever they need to purchase something for school or accompany you at the grocery store, have them bring their bag to help carry home some of your purchases without using plastic.
Foster a Love of the Outdoors
Getting your child outdoors can be one of the best cost-free ways to encourage them to adopt environmentally friendly habits. As your child learns to love being outside, they’ll likely develop a natural desire to do their part, such as being sure they don’t leave trash behind when they visit a park or playground.
Teach Your Child to Go Green and Save
There are countless ways you can teach your child to go green by making small changes in your home. While some may require a higher cost upfront, such as using smart home gadgets, many others are low-cost and will help you save money, as well.
For more tips on how to teach your child important money management skills, visit our WalletWorks page.