Published on November 12th, 2007 | by Stephanie Evans
The Importance of Low Impact Living
Does this conversation sound familiar: You’ve asked the kids to turn off the lights when they leave the room, only to have them inform you that leaving one measly light bulb burning all day won’t destroy the earth?
It can be hard to convince people that low impact living changes the world, especially when they see so much consumer and industrial waste occuring all around them. To get their attention, try a few of these tips designed to encourage green living practices in daily life:
Set up a green living jar for each child filled with enough dimes to equal a movie ticket or another fun, low cost treat.
- Every time a light is left burning, take out a dime. One 100 watt light bulb that isn’t switched off for a 10 hour day costs approximately 10 cents. If a window air conditioner unit is left running for an hour, take out 30 cents.
- Explain that this is the actual cost of that energy use on the electricity bill. At the end of the month, your child can see how much that light bulb left burning cost them, and that he or she is missing out on a great treat so that you can pay the electric bill.
Visit the local dump to look at the mind boggling amount of waste that is there and talk about how much of it shouldn’t be there.
- Invest in recycling bins and teach your kids how to separate trash into various bins for recycling and eco friendly living.
- Purchase a few products with biodegradable or compostable packaging—especially containers or greeting cards with embedded wild flower seeds. Kids will have a blast planting the product, caring for it, and watching it as it grows.
- Take advantage of a rainy day by helping your kids to get creative with reuse ideas. Turn an old, worn-out sock into a puppet decorated with scraps of fabric, yarn, old buttons, and rubberbands, or make fingerpaint jars from used applesauce containers. Kids will watch in wonder as everyday household items are transformed into playthings as you find new purposes for used items and help to keep them out of the landfill for one more turn.
- This is also a prime opportunity to communicate with your children about the importance of sharing with others. Teach them that by donating some of their used items, they lend a hand to other people and the planet by allowing others to discover and delight in what was once new to them.