There are so many amazing ways to move towards a greener and more sustainable lifestyle.
Now is the time to support a healthier planet by limiting waste and finding simple ways to cut down on electricity, as well as reusing the items you already own.
Take your family on the path towards greener living. We have great ideas on how you can contribute to the much larger picture; every little bit counts! When you lead by example – showing that you respect the environment – your friends and family will do the same. Here are some awesome tips to encourage the next generation to become earth-friendly.
LEARN TO RESPECT NATURE
Do you and your family like animals? Set up bird feeders, a birdbath, and birdhouses around your home. You can clean out and refill the bath daily with your kids. Why not create your own organic garden, and start a compost pile to reduce food waste? A couple days at the beach or national park can offer plenty of opportunities for you to discover and discuss the plants and animals you see and why it’s important to protect their habitats. Does your kids’ school sponsor green activities, like pitching in to help clean up a local park?
RECYCLING IS EASY
Recycling is important for everyone’s future. Have a family discussion about the rules for recycling. Make sure that you have the right bins for different types of waste and label them so your kids know what to do. It’s fun to sort items, place them in the correct bins, and take the containers out for collection. After the bins have been emptied, you can have your kids rinse them out if they’re dirty. Whether you’re using paper products, plastics, or upcycling, ask your little ones to think every day about what can be saved from going to landfill.
CLEAN WITH NATURAL PRODUCTS
Around the family home we can use safe natural products instead of commercial cleaning preparations. Parents can show their kids how to help with little things like deodorising carpets with baking soda: wait 15 minutes and then vacuum! It’s possible to use vinegar and baking soda for everything from oven cleaning and drain clearing to stain removal and metal polishing. Lots of websites offer green cleaning tips, and some stores carry pre-made, nontoxic cleaners for people who don’t want to make their own.
SWITCH TO ENERGY-EFFICIENT LIGHT BULBS
Energy efficient bulbs may be a little more expensive, but it’s worth it because they can last five times longer than regular light bulbs and are very bright, so you won’t need to turn on as many lights at home. Energy-efficient compact fluorescent (CFLs) or LED bulbs need to be handled carefully, but you can start to teach your children about replacing lightbulbs responsibly early on. Teach them to unplug electrical chargers not in use, as they still consume electricity when plugged in.
Check that rechargeable batteries are being used for your electronics and toys. Show your kids that they can use a solar charger to charge mobiles, tablets, and readers and learn how to care for and recharge them. As well as reducing garbage, it keeps toxic metals like mercury, out of landfills. Save energy by lowering your air conditioner a few degrees. You and your family won’t notice much of a difference, but the environment will.
TAKE QUICK, EFFICIENT SHOWERS
Little changes make a difference. Think about your water usage. You can do this in your daily life by showing your children to turn off water while brushing their teeth, and washing their face. In addition, cutting down your family’s shower time can save more water and make a bigger impact than you may think. It’s estimated that during a shower we are using an average of 2.5 gallons per minute from a typical showerhead. Reduce your family’s shower length and you’ll save a lot of water across the country.
CARRY A REUSABLE BAG AND WATER BOTTLE
Have you and your children take reusable bags to the store with you instead of opting for paper or plastic. Buy everyone in the household a BPA-free water bottle and make sure to carry it in your reusable bag! Reuse old water bottles instead of tossing out a new bottle every time you need to quench your thirst. Indonesia’s landfills are overflowing with tons of discarded water bottles alone. Avoid aerosol sprays too. It’s easy to find products in pump sprays as an alternative: just look for items with environmentally responsible labels.
CONSERVE ENERGY AT HOME
When you’re not using appliances or you’re not in a room, make sure everyone in the house knows to turn off lights and other electronics. As parents, remind your kids to turn off lights when they’re not in use, and power down computers. Why not turn off the TV when nobody’s watching it? You can use special sensors for turning lights on or off in a room.
BUY LESS AND BORROW
As a family it’s important to only buy what you actually need. In this consumer culture only purchase what is really necessary: you’ll be going green and saving money too. If you have the option, why not borrow items instead of buying them? There may be plenty of items available for rent, which can reduce more landfill waste. In addition, you can download music and movies electronically.
STAY IN GREEN HOTELS
When going on holiday, talk with the family about staying at an eco-friendly hotel. There are great green hotels such as K-Syle Eco Hotel, Samaya Ubud, Hotel Borobudur, St Regis, Kila Senggigi Beach Lombok, and Hyatt Regency Yogyakarta. Don’t forget to remind the kids to turn off the A/C and fans when you leave your room. Placing your towel in the hotel or villas laundry basket means you want a new one, if not the old one stays! Let maids know if your bed linen needs changing.
Teaching children to maintain the beauty of mother earth can be achieved when you give them simple solutions to work with. Kids are increasingly passionate when asked to contribute towards a greener lifestyle. With guidance, children can grow up to become stewards of the environment, so their world will be a cleaner, greener, more environmentally conscious place.