5 Ideas for Raising a Green Family

5 Ideas for Raising a Green Family

In a world where water pollution, overloaded landfills, and global warming are becoming serious threats, many parents are concerned about how our planet’s condition will impact our children’s future.  As a parent, you may wonder how your family can become involved in protecting the environment.  While some “green” ideas may seem over-the-top, you can still...

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In a world where water pollution, overloaded landfills, and global warming are becoming serious threats, many parents are concerned about how our planet’s condition will impact our children’s future.  As a parent, you may wonder how your family can become involved in protecting the environment.  While some “green” ideas may seem over-the-top, you can still contribute to saving the planet without a full commitment to the green lifestyle.  Below, we have listed a few simple ideas for raising a green family:

Planting a Tree

According to American Forests, a mature tree can absorb approximately 48 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year!  Other environmental benefits of trees include water filtration, flood control, and wildlife shelter.  By planting a tree (or a few), your family could make a significant impact on the environment.
Keeping it Simple:  If you can’t commit to planting a tree, another option is an environmentally friendly houseplant.  Some houseplants that promote air quality are: Bamboo Palm, English Ivy, Rubber Plant, Golden Pathos, and Peace Lily.

Recycling

Recycling is a great way to protect the environment, and it also has some unique benefits.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency, recycling conserves natural resources, saves energy, creates job opportunities in the recycling industry, reduces waste in landfills, and prevents pollution.  If your family is interested in recycling, check to see if your community has a recycling center and what materials they collect.  Some cities even offer curbside collection!

Keeping it Simple: If there isn’t a recycling program in your community or you don’t have the time to visit one, you can still recycle.  One way is by reusing materials you would normally throw out.  For example, you can reuse grocery bags as trashcan liners, or use plastic containers for storage.  Paper towel rolls, egg cartons, and cardboard scraps are great for kid’s crafts!  Be creative and think of ways your family can reuse “trash” without sending it to a landfill.

DIY Cleaning Products

The U.S. Geological Survey found detergent metabolites in 69% of stream water samples collected from throughout the country.  These detergent metabolites were from a class of chemicals frequently found in disinfectants, degreasers, and laundry detergents.  Instead of using chemical cleaners that contribute to water pollution, try making your own household cleaners.  Many homemade cleaning product recipes include inexpensive ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda, and castile soap.  The environment will benefit from this DIY project, as well as your wallet!

Keeping it Simple: If DIY isn’t your thing, try purchasing cleaning products that don’t contain harsh chemicals.  The Honest Company offers several eco-friendly cleaning products that are natural, non-toxic, and biodegradable.

Walking/Biking Instead of Driving

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, transportation vehicles account for 31% of United States CO2 emissions.  If more people walked or biked to work, school, and errands, we could make a huge impact on the environment.  Encourage your family to walk to businesses or events near your home instead of driving.  Walking or biking together is a great way to promote family time, while also contributing to saving the environment!

Keeping it simple: If you’re family isn’t ready to walk or bike longer distances, you could try using your car less.  For example, instead of going out for family night, try staying in for popcorn and a movie.  When running errands, try to complete everything in one day instead of making multiple trips throughout the week.  For work and school transportation, become involved in car-pool programs so that one vehicle is being used instead of several.

Conserving Energy

One last way to become a more “green” family is by conserving energy.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency, electricity is the largest source of CO2 emissions in the United States, accounting for 37% of U.S. CO2 emissions.  Your family can conserve energy by using energy-efficient appliances and solar-powered products.  Limiting television time and computer usage will also help conserve energy.

Keeping it Simple:  One of the easiest ways to conserve energy is by forming the habit of turning off a light when a room is not in use.  If your entire family is in the living room, turn off the lights in other areas of your home.  Also, when everyone is getting ready for school and work, make sure that all of the lights are turned off before you leave the house.  This is a simple way to protect the environment, and it will also help lower your electric bill!


 

Now that you have some super simple ideas for being a “green” family, it’s time to help protect the planet.  By taking these steps, you will encourage your children to care for the environment, and also contribute to a better future!

Written by Karen Richards

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