Going Green

Issues like global warming for kids may seem complex, but you’re never too young to learn about the environment around you, and giving your kids practical ways to make their lifestyle more eco-friendly is a great way to engage them with these issues. So rather than redesigning your rooms or furniture, why not get together with your kids to give your home a green makeover? Here are a few simple ways that you while away an afternoon creatively, creating something useful and fun tha twill make your home a more environmentally-friendly place to live.

Feed the Birds

You can make a simple bird feeder from old plastic bottle. Just make a round hole in one side, big enough for the birds to access, but not so big that all your seeds will fall out right away! Then make a few little holes in the bottom of your bottle to let rainwater drain away. Hang from a tree with some string, and watch as the birds start to come to your garden regularly to feed. If you don’t have a garden, you can still put up a feeder in any other outdoor space you have access to (and permission to use, of course!). Remember to restock regularly, and to take care using the scissors when you’re cutting up the bottle. Another activity you can do together and that’s especially great for birds during the winter is making fat balls; find a recipe here.

Give Groceries a New Look

This is a great idea for a themed party, with the end result being an eco-friendly goodie bag for everyone to take home! All you need is a bunch of plain, reusable cotton bags and fabric paints or pens. Then let your kids loose on the cotton – they’ll be free to cover the bag with whatever design sparks their imaginations. Go even greener and upcycle old T-shirts into cotton bags: simply cut the sleeves off, widen the neckline and sew or knot the bottom.

When you do go shopping using your brand new bag, you might want to discuss global warming for kids, and how to cut down on or reuse packaging. You can also bring up bigger decisions, like the advantages of greener travel. They can even read a simple guide explaining global warming for kids here.

Grow Your Own Herbs

Cut down on your food’s air miles and freshen up your kitchen by planting a miniature herb garden. Plant herbs that you use regularly and that suit the space you have: basil, for example, needs plenty of light, while mint will grow in almost any conditions and parsley likes frequent watering. If you have slightly more space, you can even grow tomatoes, aubergines or globe radishes indoors. Kids can get stuck in feeling the soil and counting out seeds during the planting process, but they can also get creative with your pots. You might want to use old yoghurt pots for your herb garden, cutting small holes in the bottom for drainage. Once that’s done, the kids can decorate the containers however they like before you start planting: poster paints and glue both stick to plastic.

There you have it: some green makeover ideas to get you started! If you have older kids, why not come up with some more complex challenges that you can do together, like jam jar crafts or even building a greenhouse out of plastic bottles?  With a little imagination you can all have fun while saving energy and making the world a little greener at the same time.

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