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Teaching Kids to Go Green

Allyson Hepp
April 1, 2013

One mom shares her tips for inspiring young kids to love the earth as part of the Care.com Interview Series.

After trying out cloth diapers with her first daughter, Lindsey G. found herself suddenly living a greener life. The So Easy Being Green blogger shares how she is teaching her two daughters (under the age of 3) how to live sustainably and self-sufficiently. See how this mom has raised a two-year-old who already knows when something can be recycled or not!

Tell us about yourself, your family, and your blog.

I am a Mother to two beautiful little girls, Sophia (2.5) and Moreaya (1). My husband and I have been married a little over 4 years and we live in a small town in East Tennessee. I began blogging, on So Easy Being Green, as a way to share small ideas of how to live a greener life with other families just like mine.

Have you always been environmentally friendly? Can you share why it became important to you?

I think I've always thought about choosing a more eco-friendly route, but not until I decided to use cloth diapers on my first daughter, did I consider myself green for sure. After I chose to use cloth instead of disposables in that area, it made other environmentally decisions come easier for our family.

Tell us about how you go green as a family? What steps do you take?

Other than using cloth diapers, as a family we choose to use unpaper towels, reusable snack packs and pouches, eco-friendly bath and body products, cleaning agents, and other materials. We are also teaching our girls how to live sustainably and self-sufficiently by producing some of our own vegetables in our container gardens. Along with teaching green lifestyle choices, the garden also provides a time for us to be together, as a family, and will teach the girls to understand how the Earth gives back to us!

What role do your kids play in being kind to the environment?

Both of my girls are still pretty young, under 3, but it's never too early to start teaching environmentally friendly behaviors. Turning off lights when not in use, along with turning off water are easy concepts that even 2 year olds can understand. Children learn how to live green by mimicking their parents - so start by setting a good example!

Can you share any games or activities you've done with your kids to help them understand the importance of green living (i.e. recycling, not littering etc.)?

My daughter loves to recycle and talk about recycling. She always wants to know what a product is made of so she knows which container it goes into. We also do lots of re-purpose crafts and activities. I challenge myself and her with "What could we do with this?" Some examples are making paint cups out of applesauce containers and using baby food pouch lids in school time activities.

Do you offer your kids any incentives for being eco-friendly? Tell us about them.

Since my girls are younger, 1 and 2.5, I don't offer particular incentives for being eco-friendly. At their age, praise and positive reinforcement for good (and green) behaviors means the most to them!

What advice would you have for parents trying to include their kids in a more concerted effort to reduce their carbon footprint?

Kids LOVE to be involved in what you're doing -- if you've started a new eco-friendly behavior, include them. Start a container garden and let your kids be involved in the planting. They also love crafts, so let them get involved with recycling by letting them decorate your recycling containers and up-cycle containers into new craft activities and games

What are your best tips for families to go green and make a difference?

My best tip is START SMALL. Going green can seem overwhelming at first, but take small steps to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Once you achieve one list on your goal, start on another. You'll soon find that taking green steps will be easier and done subconsciously as you start to transform your family's lifestyle.

Lindsey lives in Tennessee with her husband and two daughters. Lindsey began So Easy Being Green in order to share her simple and easy ideas to help others go a bit green-er, as she was trying to do in her own family. To follow her green product reviews and giveaways and read about her day to d life of her little family, follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

See how other families stay earth-friendly in our Care.com Interview Series: Raising an Earth Friendly Family.

Photo used with permission from Lindsey G.

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