Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What Can Kids Do?

One of the commenters last week for Earth Day was a teacher who asked for some tips on what her students can do to help protect the Earth. Her kids are in high school, but I think action can come from kids of all ages. Great question!

Our children are out and about in the community every day and I think it's a great opportunity for them to look around and see what they would change to make it a better place.

* Start with your own house and look at how environmentally-friendly you are there. Are you recycling everything you can? Take the initiative to go to your local waste company's website and see exactly what options are available. Do they have an easy composting option? Are there other materials that can be easily recycled somewhere other than your curbside program?

* Take a look at the local businesses that you frequent. How environmentally friendly are they? One child I know took Earth Day as an opportunity to talk to his tennis club about alternatives to the styrofoam cups they use at their latte stand. He went armed with some facts about why alternatives might be better. I haven't heard the results of the talk, but maybe that will be a future blog post.

* Think before you buy. Think about how far that product has travelled (how much oil did that use) and how it's packaged. Think about how much you need it. Think about other alternatives that might be more environmentally-friendly.

* Take action publicly. I was recently impressed with a Letter to the Editor regarding climate change and its effect on right whales. It was written by two middle schoolers and published right alongside all the other opinion pieces.

I think the easiest way for kids to get involved is to follow their passions. Whether it is something they love (animals, the ocean, etc.) that needs to be protected or something they see that just doesn't seem right (e.g. pollution generated in their own community), they can have an impact.

What do you think? What have you seen kids doing lately to make a difference?

1 comment:

  1. Any one have any ideas on how to properly dispose of latex paints? I called our local Household Hazardous waste in Everett, and they told me they no longer accept latex paints, and more surprisingly, that they are no longer considered hazardous. They told me to simply dry out the paint cans, and then throw them in my garbage can. The problem is we "inherited" some cans that are 3/4 full, and they would take forever to dry. Nonetheless, I still got the same advice from them. Any ideas?