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Involving Your Children In Your Green Efforts

Including children in green efforts is a great way to spend time with your children and to create time to talk about preserving the environment. Use the suggestions below for simple ways you can involve your children in thinking about green energy.

Have your children put refuse into appropriate recycling bins and talk about what happens next in terms of it being collected and being brought to a recycling facility. Many regions have recycling facilities that are close enough to drive by so that your children can see what happens next after they put garbage in the recycling bin.

Tip: Be sure you maintain your refrigerator properly. Refrigerators take up lots of energy, so making sure they're in working order is always good to know.

Gardening is always a great way to get your children involved with the environment. Put a green energy spin on your garden by discussing how plants help the environment from soil erosion to adding oxygen to the air.

Have your children read labels on clothing and linens as an opportunity to have them practice reading and to begin thinking about the "ingredients" that go into what they wear. You can discuss natural versus unnatural materials used in their clothing and compare the way you have to care for different items.

Purchase products made from recycled items your children can identify with such as pencils made with recycled money.

Have your children help you collapse containers such as cardboard cartons that you're putting into recycling. Most children enjoy the job of dismantling cardboard containers and it will give you an opportunity to discuss the topic of recycling.

Purchase at least one or two solar energy products for your child to use such as a calculator or flashlight so that they experience how solar energy works.

Talk about green energy in terms of pros and cons including the benefits of a particular energy and its drawbacks. If there's a wind power location nearby take your child to the site and discuss the topic of green energy including whether your child would want to live near the noisy wind turbines.

Tip: Monitor your electricity consumption watt by watt. Use great gadgets such as the Kill-A-Watt or the Watt Minder to find out which fixtures and appliances use up the most energy.

Try to make being green a priority at your child's next birthday party and challenge guests to minimize wasteful wrapping or to create environmentally friendly wrapping for your child's presents.

Hang a clothesline that is an appropriate height for your child and let your child hang clothing to dry. Let your child experience the difference between hanging clothing and using the dryer in terms of how the clothing smells and feels after it's line-dried and how long it takes so that he or she can begin to develop an informed opinion about reducing dryer usage as a green choice.

Tip: Ceiling fans should also be used in the winter. Putting them clockwise can get rid of the warm air that flows toward your ceiling, which decreases the amount of heating you need.

Ask your children to use their imaginations and create an invention that they can draw and describe that will incorporate green energy such as solar or wind. You can use your invention project as something for your children to do while you're preparing dinner and then discuss the inventions during dinner.

Incorporating green energy topics into your child's life should focus on experience and time spent together. Use the suggestions above for simple ways you can spend time with your child and promote concepts of green energy.

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