April is a great time for your family to connect with nature. This month brings Earth Day on Saturday, April 22, which is recognized around the world as a day for communities to take action to help protect our planet. Teaching your children a few simple, daily habits will set them on the road to keep the world cleaner and greener so your family can make every day Earth Day.

Reduce

Turn off lights and electronic devices when not in use. Explain to your kids how electronics use energy and the value of efficiency. You may even save some money, too.

Conserve water by turning it off while brushing your teeth. Limit the time in the shower and the amount of water in a bath. Discuss with your children about this vital natural resource, since there is a limited supply.

Make your children aware of when they are holding the refrigerator door open while perusing their choice for a snack. The refrigerator is one of the top energy consumers in your home, so encourage them to be quick about getting the door closed.

Buy everyone in the family a reusable water bottle. Buy snacks, grains and flours in bulk and store in reusable containers to reduce packaging waste.

Reuse                                    

Build or purchase a compost bin. Collect compostable food scraps, coffee grounds and egg shells. Show your children how to get rid of these compostable materials by placing them in the compost bin and giving it a good stir. In a few months, your children can see how what would otherwise be considered garbage becomes dark rich soil.

Get your children involved by collecting beverage and food containers, straws, cereal boxes, used plastic and aluminum foil scraps. Encourage them to be creative by building a city or a fairy house or anything a child’s imagination can come up with.

When your kid no longer needs a toy or article of clothing that still has some life in it, give it to someone who needs it. Bring your kids along, so they can be a part of the donation process.

Recycle

A plastic bottle can sit for hundreds of years in a big pile at the dump before it decomposes. Give your kids the duty of sorting recyclables in appropriate bins and have them in charge of taking out the recycling bin for pick-up. If there is no recycling pick-up in your area, research local drop-off locations. Bring your kids along to see where the garbage goes.

Use rainwater barrels to catch the runoff from your downspouts. Place empty containers outside to catch rainwater. Let your child monitor the water levels and recycle the water back into the earth when outdoor plants need a drink of water. Kids love playing with water and they will not mind having this job. Indoor plants can benefit as well from this collected natural resource.

Instilling earth-friendly habits in your family’s routine will make a difference. Our natural resources will last longer and the world will be a healthier place for future generations.

This story was written for CharlotteFive’s latest channel for parents in the QC, called QC Playground. Sign up for the weekly QC Playground newsletter here.

Photo Credit: Sara Kendall

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Sara Kendall writes about travel, parenting and lifestyle. She is just as passionate about photography as she is about writing, so you will find her writing paired with her beautifully captured images. Sara’s work has appeared in numerous print and online publications including the following CLT ones – Charlotte Observer, Charlotte Parent and Epicurean Charlotte. Need travel inspiration? Check out Sara’s travels at latitudecrossing.com.

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