Being green is a family affair: greening your family

blog-familyaffair-squareI don’t think it’s any secret that the “family” has changed a lot over the last 30-40 years.  “Family time” now means rushing to get your kids’ meal after you get home from work, rushing them to do their home work, maybe sitting down for some mindless television watching together and then rushing to get them to bed.  There seems to be an awful lot of rushing.

And how many times do we buy something pre-made that we could’ve forgone in favor of some quality moments with our children or young relatives?  (Like, for instance, wrapping paper or holiday decorations.)  Being green is not just about saving money and saving the environment, it’s about teaching your children the value of those things and creating lasting memories with them.

I was recently inspired by this blog that illustrates my point exactly.  This mother of two creates all sorts of recycling crafts that her boys can do together.  From recycling Christmas cards to making cookies and cookie bags as gifts to making mud pies and playing hopscotch… all wonderful environmentally friendly things to do.  Teaching your kids about the “good old days” when there were no video games, DVD players or karaoke machines will open their little minds to the simple wonders of the world.  It will allow them to use their imagination instead of serving them up prefabricated animations on a platter.

Children are our future, and we are going to have to rely on them to make the right decisions for the planet.  We need to teach them how to survive on a planet not so rich in resources as it used to be.  We need to teach them to be responsible for their actions and the consequences of those actions as it relates to the environment.

Teach your child how to recycle and make him responsible for the weekly recycling.  Show her how to compost.  Teach him how to sew.  You never know what your child can accomplish if you give them the gift of innovative thinking.  You’d be surprised.

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