Do you like the idea of doing your part to help the environment? Does your child learn about saving the environment at school? These days, kids are hearing more and more about helping our environment. During time off school, this may be the perfect time to start making small changes at home by working together. Here are some easy ways you can incorporate environmentally-friendly activities into your day.
Start recycling: Look for online books for children about recycling. Read the book(s) together. Put a box outside your door or in your garage. When family members go to throw something away, take a minute to decide if it can be recycled. If so, put it in the bin. If your area has curbside pick-up, have your child (or assist your child) in taking out the bin on recycling day. If you do not have curbside pick-up, check with your city for drop off locations.
Paint and install a rain barrel outside: These can be purchased at a local hardware store. Bring the barrel home and paint it with your child. Together, find a spot outside to install it. Talk about how the water will be captured from the rain and discuss ways you can use it when the bucket fills…to water flowers, work in the garden, or even to wash the car.
Go on an outdoor scavenger hunt or trail walk: Have children look for things in the environment, such as a maple tree, an acorn, a tulip, or a squirrel. This will help them see the beauty of the world they live in and why it is important to protect it.
Make crafts out of material you’ve collected in your recycling bin: This could be a robot, alien, paper airplane, rocket, or whatever else your child’s imagination can come up with.
Model small changes by bringing reusable bags to the grocery store and mason jars to the food co-op: Have your child help fill the jars with bulk goods. They can pick one item of their choice for their jar. This helps eliminate the need for plastic packaging.
Ride bikes or walk to do errands: Make sure to wear your bike helmet!
Consider your carbon footprint: For older kids, find a carbon footprint calculator online and fill in your home’s information. Then talk about ways to reduce your footprint around the house. For younger kids, give them the responsibility of being the “light monitor.” They help to turn off unused lights and electronics to save energy.
Have a magazine or book exchange: Ask close friends and neighbors if they have any books or magazines that they enjoyed and no longer need. Do a trade!
Clean the neighborhood walk: Put on some gloves, grab a bag, and walk around the neighborhood. Pick up trash you see. Sort out the recycling. Make sure to wash your hands well when you get home after you take off your gloves.
Educate others: When on phone calls/video chats, writing letters, emailing, or texting, mention the activities you have been doing so as to educate others about your efforts and how they too can take a small step towards helping the environment.
Did you know School Specialty cares about the environment? We achieved Gold Certification Status with the Green Business Bureau and are moving toward a Platinum Certification. Our environmentally-friendly efforts are both internal through engagement with employees and external through our operations and products. We’re proud to help make a difference in our world.
Maggie Okponobi has a Bachelor’s degree in Education with a Minor in Early Childhood, Science, and Literacy and a Master’s degree in Business. Maggie holds an Elementary Teaching Certification K-6 for the state of Indiana and has a diverse background of teaching, community service, and serving as a board member to an organization that sponsors student educations. Maggie taught for 2 years before heading overseas. Her love of community service sent her to the West African country of The Gambia where she served for 2.5 years as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer working in the Education sector. Following that, she stayed and taught at the American International school for 2 years as a kindergarten/grade one teacher. Once back with family in the U.S., Maggie worked as a grade one teacher at a charter school. From there, she moved into her current role of running School Specialty’s Grant Assist™ program.
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