Save the planet

Use everyday life to teach your children to save our environment.

  1. Rather buy paper or reusable straws than plastic straws. Show kids books or videos of how plastic lands up in the oceans and kills bird and sea life. 
  2. Set up a recycling station at home and teach children what materials can be recycled. Some refuse services will pick up recycling weekly or it will need to be off loaded at a recycling depot.
  3. Reuse gift bags for other presents.
  4. Create a scrap paper pile for drawing, making lists or rough work for homework.
  5. Teach children to switch off electricity when not in use. For example, heaters or room lights.
  6. Put on the dishwasher/washing machine when  full.
  7. Pass on well loved items such as clothing, toys and books. 
  8. Teach children to dispose of rubbish in bins in public places. If one is not available, rubbish should be taken home to throw away.
  9. Use water sparingly. Bath time is a good time to teach this. Don’t run full baths and encourage more showering. Don’t leave taps running unnecessarily or water the garden in midday heat.
  10. Recycle study notebooks, test papers and projects at the end of an academic school year.  
  11. Reuse plastic shopping bags, for example, for picking up pet deposits in the garden. Try to also use more reusable canvas bags for shopping.
  12. Reuse newspaper for absorbing oil from cooked food like chips or for cleaning windows. 
  13. Create art and wall features. For example, make a car out of boxes and decorate with items such a toilet paper rolls. Use containers such as tins and make a hanging plant wall.
  14. Create a compost heap or worm farm and show children nature’s life cycle. A compost heap uses decaying plant matter to create a good fertilser for soil in the garden. A worm farm is great way to get rid of raw fruit and vegetable waste. The worms eat the waste and produce a ‘worm tea’ that is great soil fertiliser for plants and trees.
  15. Collect rain water and make a rain gauge. Teach children to save water, an increasingly scarce resource.Use the rain water to water the garden.
  16. Get involved in clean up campaigns such as at public parks, beaches and rivers. 
  17. Read books about preserving our environment, e.g., Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax.
  18. Enjoy nature. This makes children appreciate it and want to preserve it, for example go camping, picnicking or hiking.
  19. Garden. Plant trees, they produce oxygen and capture carbon dioxide. They also provide beauty as well as food and homes for birds. Buy indoor plants/pots if you don’t have a big garden. Create a fairy or secret garden to make it more fun for children. Use organic sprays for plants.
  20. Plant herbs and vegetables at home, instead of buying them.
  21. Walk, bike or take public transport. Organise carpools to get to work, school or social events. These are more fuel-efficient and emit less carbon.
  22. Try to use solar power at home. For example, heating pools or geysers. It may be expensive upfront but it saves money in the long term.
  23. Use compact fluorescent or LED bulbs to save energy.
  24. Pay for services, entertainment or bills online and ask for electronic statements.
  25. Repaint and reaccessorise home furniture instead of buying them new.

Wendy Roux

Wendy Roux

Wendy Roux is a mother of a teen and a 12 year old. She has worked in teaching, the corporate environs and publishing. She is also the author of Checklist Parenting, aimed at parents of young school going children. The handbook offers parenting checklists, covering a range of topics, in a well laid out, easy to read format


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