Tuesday, January 8, 2013

One Small Step Towards the Green Life - A Leap for Mother Earth!

We have found a simple yet inspirational article on how to get your family into greening your lifestyle! Read on to see just how easy it really is.

Whether you’re a hard core green mama… or just starting out along the path to a more natural life, it helps to realize we’re coming from different places. What matters is that we are trying to live with a little less impact and show Mother Earth a little more love. Even if it’s just baby steps.

Mary O’Donohue shares her family’s green goals.

Fall is the time of year my husband and I focus on teaching our children – and reminding ourselves – about the importance of making and keeping commitments in our lives.

Throughout the season, we do simple exercises that help our kids understand what it means to be people who honor their commitments, and at the end of the month, we wrap up with a family commitment to protecting the environment.

Certainly the environmental challenges that face our world are huge, but the commitment we make isn’t meant to overwhelm our kids. Through baby steps, every positive change matters. So we focus on practical, concrete things we can do as a family of four to make things better.

You can do it, too! Sit down with your kids and brainstorm several specific ways you can do better environmentally in your own house. Or walk around the house with your kids and play detective! Where are the clues as to how your family can make a more positive impact on the planet? Take note of any ideas your kids suggest. As my son says, often kids come up with solutions where grown ups see obstacles.

Here are a few ideas my family came up with. I don’t necessarily think any of them are groundbreaking, but I can honestly tell you that we were not doing these simple things before we made a commitment to the environment. I truly believe that’s where we started to make a difference.

Here are some of the changes we made:

1. No more plastic bottles!

We now love using glass bottles with an outer sleeve that protects the bottles if they fall. We tote these along everywhere we go. I also bring these up to the kid’s rooms when they get thirsty at bedtime, because they’re safer than a glass of water that can get knocked down and break.

2. Turn off all lights when you’re not using them.

My son got so vigilant with this one that he left me sitting in the dark on more than one occasion!

3. Unplug cell phone chargers from the wall outlet when you’re not actually charging your phone.

4. Turn off the water when you’re brushing your teeth.

So simple, but isn’t it great that even a five year old brushing his teeth after breakfast every morning can start the day knowing he can do something good for the environment?

5. Turn off the TV.

If you must have screen time, make sure it’s off when you leave the room. Even better, use a power strip for TVs and other appliances, and turn it off at night and when you leave the house.

I know these are simple things. But when children grow up with an awareness that even small things they do make an impact, they realize that they are indeed powerful. Powerful enough to change the world for the better, one simple act at a time.

Mary O’Donohue is a mother of two and author of the children’s book, When You Say “Thank You,” Mean It.

In addition to writing, Mary is a successful television producer. Her experience includes having worked on The Today Show, Meet The Press, and The Oprah Winfrey Show.

For more stories similar to this, check out www.greenchildmagazine.com!

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