As a mom I have a lot of concerns when it comes to raising my children to be healthy and happy. I want to make sure they get a good education with plenty of outlets for creativity, that they eat healthfully, and that they get fresh air and exercise. Another big concern that I have is revolves around their social consciousness. I want my kids to be conscious of their impact on the planet and the people around them and a large part of that means teaching them to live green.

According to the Green Guide, green living is a lifestyle intended to ensure that one’s impact on the environment is as minimal (or as positive) as possible. The earth is our home and as good citizens of this planet we should want to take care of it and teach our children that taking care of it is critical. We love the great outdoors right? Going hiking, swimming in a lake, canoeing down a river, camping out in the mountains… these are all things that bring us closer to nature and if we want these opportunities for our children and grandchildren then we must all strive to live “green” and in harmony with the planet. I want my kids to remember that their impact on the earth can and should be positive.

For us, that starts with learning the 3 R’s of environmentalism… reduce, reuse, recycle.

Reduce

Reducing can be defined simply as making less garbage and becoming proficient at waste reduction by changing some habits. Reducing means that you are conscious of not buying items that are disposable or have a one time use. This could mean that you avoid using paper plates and cups, making a sandwich for lunch instead of buying Lunchables, or making sure to buy your detergent in bulk so you only have one container to dispose of later. Although these changes may not seem significant when you do it at first, the benefits will add up over time. If your children grow up with these good habits just imagine how much waste you will have reduced in their lifetime.

Reuse

Reusing items and giving them another life is yet another great way to avoid landfill waste. Examples of reusing would be to reuse plastic bags from the grocery store or buy canvas bags to use at the store instead. Instead of using plastic water bottles you can buy stainless steel bottles that will last for years. Cloth towels can be used before paper towels and cloth napkins before paper ones. Second hand clothing is another great example of reusing. We live in a society that values disposable items that are no muss no fuss but a disposable society is a reckless one and my children will learn to take such shortcuts.

Recycle

Most people are familiar with the concept of recycling. According to Recyclethis.org, recycling is the process by which materials are collected and used as “raw” materials for new products. Recycling items that you would otherwise throw away helps reduce landfill waste. Buying items that are made with recycled materials also helps eliminate waste and encourage more recycling. When you become familiar with the products that can be you also become more apt to avoid products that cannot be recycled. Children especially may really enjoy the whole process of recycling and my kids go at least once a month the recycling facility in our town to see it in action.

In our house the ABCs are taught right along with the 3 R’s and I would not have it any other way.


Tiffany blogs about her experience as a mom trying to live a more natural family life at NatureMoms.com/blog.

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