teaching kids about reducing waste
This post is sponsored by Brita, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
It’s never too early to start teaching your kids about environmental problems and solutions. If you intertwine conversations like water conservation, recycling and energy consumption into their developing years, they are more likely to care about these issues as adults. I know, it can be overwhelming and depressing, especially when you hear statistics like “2,000 plastic water bottles are used every second in the US” but there are solutions available. One such solution is simply cutting out single-use products like plastic water bottles and purchasing a Brita Longlast Pitcher!
teach kids to sort trash
One of the easiest things you can do it sort your trash, recycling and compost. It doesn’t take much extra effort, though if you’re putting a food container in the trash, you should rinse it out first. My 6 year old is just in the habit now of asking me “trash or recycling?” and I think it’s great. Make it easy for them by having a separate recycling container by the trash can. Bonus points if you’re composting. Double bonus points if you use that compost for a vegetable garden!
teach kids to conserve energy
Another easy habit to get your kids into is conserving energy around the home. Hold them accountable for turning off the lights, TV, etc when they leave the room. The homeschool mom in me wants to add – don’t just give your kids tasks without an explanation as to why. Talk to them about energy – renewable vs non-renewable – and why them turning the lights off means less fossil fuels burned and a cleaner environment. I love a teachable moment!
teach kids to plant and grow
Change doesn’t come from just reducing our waste. We also need to add positive solutions like planting life back into the earth. This one is not only easy, but fun and also beneficial to your kids’ health (because we all need to know what real food is!). It’s the perfect time of year to let your kids plant their own little garden patch or flowerbed!
teach kids to save water
After living through a long drought here in the desert of Southern California, we’re pretty aware of our water use. One simple way kids can be thinking about saving water is by turning off the water while they brush their teeth. Another way is taking shorter, more focused (i.e. less singing and dancing) showers. Little things add up and the choices kids make now will become habits when they are older.
make environmental issues interesting to kids
Especially when kids are young, phrases like “fossil fuels” and “water consumption” may not be thrilling. Focus your discussions on the WHY we do these things, like protecting marine life. By 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean, so this is a very real reason you can give your kids to recycle, reduce and reuse. My son (like his mom and sister before him) is marine animal obsessed so I’ve taken the opportunity this April (Earth Day month) to talk extensively about how we can product the environment by way of saving ocean life. There are other angles as well like saving the rainforest animals from deforestation, saving the polar bears from global warming, etc.
The other day I was reading a book on how not to die (by eating healthy) and in it I learned that bottled water is often more contaminated with toxins than tap water + BPA from the plastic bottle. But of course, there can be all kinds of things you don’t want in your tap water so it needs to be filtered. We’ve always kept a Brita Pitcher in our refrigerator for as long as I can remember, but this Brita Longlast Pitcher I just picked up at Target is the best – beyond amazing and BPA free!
By using the Brita Longlast Pitcher, you can replace 1,800 plastic water bottles each year. As I noted, drinking filtered water is best for you health and I trust the name Brita to give me the cleanest water, free from impurities and odors. The Brita filter reduces 99% of lead, mercury, chlorine, benzene and more from your tap water.