As 2012 comes to an end and you start brainstorming ways to improve in 2013, consider this: What if your family came together to live a greener lifestyle? Not only will many of these ideas positively impact the environment and help your family, but they’ll teach your children about the importance of the environment, eating right and keeping fit. Consider a few of these green options for a fresh start to a new year:
Choose two wheels over four.
Opt for your bike over your car whenever possible. Not only will you save on gas, reduce your carbon imprint and get some exercise, but biking as a family is just plain fun. If school or work is too far, you can still consider running errands on two wheels. Have really little ones? Purchase a bike with a seat on the back or a children’s bike trailer. Don’t forget helmets for everyone!
Get outside, teach your little ones some biology 101 and grow ingredients for a healthy meal in a family garden. Try letting each family member pick out his or her favorite veggie or fruit to grow. This will teach children responsibility by having at least one plant that they’re accountable for and ensure that the family garden has everyone’s favorite snack.
Start a compost pile.
What better way to add some fresh fertilizer to your new garden than by creating a mini compost pile of your own? You can purchase bins for your kitchen, but there are also backyard options that will help keep the mess out of your home.
Ask your kids to help you with recycling.
Little ones love sorting. Ask your kids to help separate paper from plastic. This is also a great time to explain the importance of being kind to the environment.
Lower your energy use.
Keep your home cool in the winter and warm in the summer. For each degree that you use AC to lower the temperature in your home, your average energy cost rises by 6%. Metro Family Magazine recommends using fans on low in the winter to spread warmth throughout the house. Make sure they rotate clockwise, which will pull rising heat from the ceiling and better disperse it.
Plant a tree.
Did you know that nearly half of our original forest habitat has been cut down in the past 60 years? We’ve all wasted our fair share of paper or secretly hoped that a new shopping mall would go up close by. Give back to the earth a little by planting a family tree. Not only will you be bettering the environment, but you can watch the tree and your children grow together.
-“Going Green as a Family.” Going Green
-“How to Help Your Family Go Green.” Wiki How
-“Tree Deforestation Statistics.” Statistic Brain
-“Practical Pointers for Going Green.” Metro Family Magazine
-Photo courtesy of Sujin Jetkasettakorn/freedigitalphotos.net