Have you noticed how much your preschooler wants to be like you?
Look over at your child while you are engaged in some activity like reading, talking on the phone or even cleaning the house.
More often than not, you will see your preschooler mimicking you…the book may be upside down and the imaginary phone conversation may be on a toy…but emulating parents is what young children love to do.
With Earth Day 2011 quickly approaching (Friday, April 22), here are seven simple steps that parents can take to preserve the planet for future generations, protect our natural resources and promote environmental awareness with their preschoolers.
1. Buy gently used clothing and toys at consignment shops or places like Goodwill and donate your child’s gently used items as well. This cycle of recycling really helps.
2. Use homemade natural solutions to clean your home. They are better for your family and better for the planet. Here are a couple of links where you can find great “recipes” and other tips: http://housekeeping.about.com/cs/environment/a/alternateclean.htm, http://www.ehow.com/about_4777601_natural-homemade-cleaning-products.html, http://organizedhome.com/clean-house/pantry-recipes-homemade-cleaning-products. Happy cleaning!!!
3. Walk; don’t drive, to local destinations, if possible, like the store or the library.
4. Spend the day at a local park…bring a picnic lunch, gloves and a big garbage bag. Walk around and have your child help you pick up any garbage you find.
5. Bring your own bags when you shop…you might want to get smaller reusable bags for your young children so that they can help carry groceries in a more responsible way.
6. Buy local. I realize it is not always possible or feasible to buy organic, locally-grown or produced food. However, this not only benefits your family, but also the planet. The carbon footprint left by foods that are flown or trucked across the country is huge…and buying locally helps the growers and manufacturers who must compete with the large corporations. The nutritional benefits to your family include not having to worry about artificial colors, preservatives and genetically modified foods. If you are looking for healthful recipes, my book for parents of preschoolers, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking, includes 100 easy child-friendly cooking activities, as well as 100 simple eco-friendly craft projects.
7. Buy in bulk with as little packaging as possible. Many stores now have a special section where they offer a wide selection of foods that can be purchased by the pound or less. The price is usually significantly cheaper than buying the product in a box with a name brand listed on the front.
Seven simple steps…if you only do a few, you will be making an important contribution to the preservation of our planet for future generations.
Seven simple steps…if you allow your children to participate with you, you will be encouraging them to protect our natural resources.
Seven simple steps…if we all follow them, we promote environmental awareness and the well-being of the world.
You can “like” b-kind-2-earth-day and go here for more information about what lots of other people are doing: http://www.facebook.com/BKind2EarthDay/posts/139097546162617#!/BKind2EarthDay