Going Green with Kids

Embrace a green lifestyle with your preteen, here's how

a dripping faucet
If you want to go green, be sure you cut back on water waste. Photo: Domenic Gebauer, freeimages.com

The green movement is here to stay, and many families want to know what they can do to cut back on energy and become more environmentally friendly. If your child has expressed an interest in cutting back on waste, recycling, and being more environmentally responsible, don't worry. Your child's interest in the environment doesn't mean you have to completely rearrange your lifestyle. Together, the two of you can incorporate greener habits into daily living.

Below are a few simple tips on going green for families ready to take the step.

Cut Your Water Usage

It's easy to waste water, and easy to save it. Show your kids that they can cut back on water usage by turning off the faucet when they're brushing their teeth or washing their face. Turn it back on to rinse. They can do the same while showering. Just rinse, turn the water off, lather up, and turn the water back on for a final rinse. You can also find easy ways to reduce the amount of water you use to flush the toilet. An internet search will help you and your tween find an easy way to cut the amount of water you use every time you flush.

Cut Back on Energy

Going green can be as simple as cutting back on energy. You can reduce your energy consumption by turning off appliances and lights when not in use. Teach your child to turn off the lights, television and radio when leaving the room. Encourage your child to put the computer on sleep mode when not in use.

Any appliance that's warm to the touch when not in use is using energy. They should be turned off and unplugged when they're not needed.

Going Green? - Get Outdoors

Think about it, if your child is playing outside, he's not using the television, game system, or the computer. Encourage outdoor play as an important step in going green.

You can even consider taking a family vacation that incorporates outdoor time such as camping, fishing, or hiking.

Reuse School Supplies

At the end of the school year, go through your child's school supplies and set aside any items that can be used again next year. Folders, binders, book covers, and highlighters, are just a few items that your child might be able to use again.

Go Biking

It's easy to get into the habit of driving everywhere, but if you live in an area that offers bike trails or sidewalks, you might want to consider biking or walking to certain destinations such as your child's school, the neighborhood swimming pool, church, the library, or the park. When you bike together, you're not only going green, but you're showing your child how important it is to exercise and enjoy being outdoors together.

Plan a Family Garden

If you have a yard, you might want to consider planting a small vegetable or herb garden with your child. When you grow your own vegetables you make fewer trips to the market, and can reduce your energy consumption.


Recycling is easier in some regions than in others, but even if your neighborhood doesn't offer curbside recycling, you can still show your child how to reuse items by taking used clothing, toys and books to your local thrift store. A much better alternative than disposing of the items in the trash.

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