It’s never too early to start teaching your children good habits! If you’re concerned about the environment as much as we are, chances are you want to pass those values down to your little ones. The best way to lead is definitely by example- involving your kids in eco-friendly practices is the best way to create a conscientious mindset that will last a lifetime.

At McLean, going green is part of our mission, and we know that making these changes might not seem all that easy…so here are some activities that will turn going green into a fun family affair!

Harvesting

Volunteer on a local farm or food co-op together

If your children are young, it’s a great idea to show them where their food comes from. When children are taught how food is produced, they are much more likely to show respect towards the earth and animals that provide them with sustenance. If your children are older, you can sign up to volunteer at a local food co-op together. Teenagers will not only benefit from learning about food sharing; they will learn valuable skills that will translate into a better work ethic when they enter the workforce.

Cut down on plastic waste

An average family of five will consume about 830 bottles of water and 1,500 plastic shopping bags in a year! Plastic can take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade in a landfill, and often end up harming animals and clogging waterways. Your family can make a positive impact by making the switch to reusable tote bags and refilling your BPA-free water bottles.

Unplug your appliances and electronic devices when not in use

Even when your electronic devices are not turned on, they are passively using small amounts of electricity that can add up to about 10% of your electric bill. Unplugging your appliances when they’re not in use will save energy and reduce your cost of utilities. Don’t charge electronic devices longer than needed; it’s bad for battery life, and you’ll end up using extra electricity.

Compost your food scraps

Instead of throwing your food scraps away, consider composting to turn waste into nutrient-rich fertilizer for your garden. This practice also has an added benefit you may not have considered- no more stinky trash in the kitchen! Just be sure to store your scraps in an airtight, critter-proof container.

Cut down on cleaning chemicals

It’s easy to make your own effective, eco-friendly cleaning products out of simple ingredients like baking soda, apple cider vinegar, and lemon juice. Using natural ingredients to clean your home will reduce your family’s exposure to toxic chemicals, and it will also cut down on cost, as store-bought products can be extremely expensive! You’ll feel better about asking your kids to help with household chores knowing that they’re not being exposed to noxious fumes and toxins found in most commercial cleaning products.

Going green with your family doesn’t have to be hard, and can be a great way to bond with your children while instilling responsible values.

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