Going Green with Children

by Lisa Douglas

We’re “greenies” and thus, have “green” children. I personally feel you can’t start too young when it comes to teaching children about their environment and being responsible with your actions. We’ve explained energy-efficiency, they understand why it’s important to run errands in locations near each other to conserve on gas. Along those lines, they not only understand but talk about ‘disliking trucks and SUVs’ because they waste gas if not used in a work capacity (my little tree huggers! I’m so proud! Ha!). We recycle. We use energy saving light-bulbs. We pack our lunch in containers and reusable lunch bags daily. Speaking of reusable bags, we use cloth shopping bags for grocery shopping and trips to the store. We cloth diaper. We have water-saving showerheads with filters. We use non-toxic cleaners and eat organically without the use of preservatives, additives, food coloring or salicylates.

Wow, that was a mouthful. I’m sure I even forgot some of the things we do!

Nonetheless, we’re very involved in what we do with our children, living by example, “walking the walk while we talk the talk” so to speak. What sort of planet will they live in when they’re our age if we don’t? That scares the bejeebus out of me.

Does any of the above interest you, but seem too daunting of a task? Try reading up on the subject first. Look up tons of resources on the internet by visiting the above links, or check out some books from yoru local library. Here’s my ‘Going Green” book must haves for young children:

For Teens – Books

  • The Green Book, by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas M. Kostigen, 2007
  • Take Action! A Guide to Active Citizenship, by Marc Keilburger and Craig Keilburger
  • The Live Earth Global Warming Survival Handbook: 77 Essential Skills to Stop Climate Change, by David de Rothschild
  • An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It, by Al Gore
  • The Greening of America, by Charles Reich

Teen Websites:

I have loads of resources to share that I’ve found over time. Take a few minutes to go through each of these to get the idea.

I’m very happy to report that our commissary on post is now carrying many organic options for foods, with spices, canned goods, not to mention fresh local produce. We’ll still venture to local farmer’s markets of course, but its also intriguing to see the cleaners being updated with greener options out there as well, such as Seventh Generation and Deirde Imus’ Cleaning Products. Target also has Method products regularly available.

Don’t try to dive right in without babysteps. Even small changes will make an impact. One of my favorite sayings is “The man who removes a mountain, begins by carrying away small stones. “- William Faulkner

So start small, and eventually you’ll be going green in no time!

Have more resources to share? I’d LOVE to hear more!

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