Thursday, September 16, 2010

Teaching kids to be green...leading by example

Raising environmentally-conscious kids isn't as difficult these days as it used to be. After all, it's cool to be green...despite the "I poo in blue" ultra-cool kid rockin' his disposable diaper. While you may spend a considerable amount of time teaching your little ones about recycling, not littering, etc., there is one thing you probably do, without thinking about it, that is sending your kids the wrong message.

What is it? Well, it has four wheels, two or more doors, a radio, CD player and possibly a DVD player or two.

You're not going to ask us to give up our cars now, are you?
Relax. Of course I'm not going to ask you to do that. But I am going to ask you to reconsider how many times you pile the kids in the car and drive them here, there and everywhere. Are all those trips necessary?

Let's start with school. Do you drive your kids to school? Why? Perhaps you drop them off on your way to work. Okay. Perhaps you only do it on rainy or snowy mornings. Okay. Perhaps you do it because they whine about having to ride the bus. Not okay. If there is a bus transporting children from your neighborhood to the school, consider saying no to the personal chauffeur service your kids are accustomed to. Why can't they ride the bus?

If you care about the environment and are trying to teach your kids to do the same, tomorrow morning's a good time to send them off to the bus stop! And you can tell them I told you to do it...I don't mind if their anger is directed at Green Grandma. I can take it.

How about when school is within walking distance? I understand concerns about letting your kids walk considering child abduction, dangerous intersections, etc. So consider walking with them, if that's a possibility for you.

At the very least, start a carpool. It just seems ridiculous to have 200 or 400 or 600 parents driving their kids to the same school every day. It's wasteful and definitely not eco-friendly.

So the next time you start to talk to your kids about saving the earth, consider ways you can save gas. It's all about the little things. And they all add up now, don't they?

Keeping it green,


Photo courtesy of Peter Griffin

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