Environmentalism was once a fringe pursuit but now it’s hip to be green and everyone-even children-is doing their bit to save the planet. Why not get your kids started with one of these green projects?
1. Form an energy police force : deputizing the kids to monitor energy consumption at home is a fun way to improve household efficiency. They’ll love laying down the law every time a grownup leaves the light on in the bathroom.
2. Make your own eco-friendly art supplies : most paints and slimes marketed at kids these days are non-toxic but did you know you can make your own? Play dough made from peanut butter and finger paints made from yoghurt are just two recipes. And don’t forget the food colouring—we suggest green!
3. Reduce water consumption : train the children not to leave the tap running when cleaning teeth or washing hands and the next thing you know they’ll be timing your showers and urging you to install a rain collection tank in the garden!
4. Ditch the car on the school-run : kids love making new friends and winning tiny slivers of independence so encourage them to help decongest and depollute the neighbourhood by buddying up with classmates to carpool, or—even better—walk to school together.
5. Recycling & Upcycling : it’s become second nature for children to set cardboard tubes, empty bottles and waste paper aside for recycling but why not encourage some upcycling projects—it’s amazing how creative they can get finding new uses for old stuff.
6. Shop local, eat seasonal : children are famously fussy eaters but connecting what they eat with when and where it grows is a great way to encourage healthy eating AND a respect for the planet’s resources.
7. Little green fingers make little green minds : seeing things grow kick starts an interest in ecology that can last a lifetime so have the kids start an organic garden, show them how to compost and help them build a plastic water bottle greenhouse.
8. Take it outside : instilling an appreciation for the beauty of our planet needn’t be dull. Next time you’re planning a break think about camping—the kids will love learning bush-craft, and toasting marshmallows over an open fire is a rite of passage everyone should enjoy.
Which of these green projects for children are you ready to embark upon? Or maybe you’ve got your own suggestions—put them in the comments below!