Going Green as a Family

As we make plans to join families celebrating

Earth Day throughout New Jersey

, it led us to the question:  Are we including our own families in our efforts to make the world a better place?

We turned to some of our own experts to discuss some of the core principles of sustainability, and how we can include our families in our efforts to live a more sustainable lifestyle!  Here's what we've come up with.  We'd love to hear some other ideas you might be doing in your family!

Make your dedication to the environment a lasting one by teaching your kids to love going green as much as you do! The time you spend now is your investment in yet another generation of people who are passionate about energy efficiency and sustainability.

Recycling 101:

Make recycling a normal part of your day and it will be second nature to your kids by the time they grow up.

  • Start Small: It can be as simple as starting with homework. After celebrating all those A's, make sure to stash old worksheets in your recycling bin. 
  • Teach the Basics: Once you’ve established that habit, create a dedicated recycling center. Teach your kids how to clean and sort common recyclable items like cans or glass. 
  • Get Creative: Make sure to have fun with it. Reuse some of that paper or even old clothes to do fun crafts. The main idea? Help them learn that the trash can shouldn’t always be the first solution. Add reusing or giving items away to their mental checklist.
  • Compost Collaboration: Turn your recycling efforts to the food you eat with composting. Teach them that uneaten veggies and fruit and picked weeds and old leaves make rich fuel for a garden! Just make sure they know that dairy and meat items don’t belong in your compost. 

Green Thumbing:

Composting segues nicely into our next point (go us!): gardening or tree planting as a family. Finally a good reason for your kids to play in the dirt! Whether you decide to plant a tree for Arbor Day, flowers to accent your lawn or a garden for extra veggies, have your kids help regularly so they appreciate the effort (and fun!) it takes to make something grow. Even if you don’t have a ton of space, you can still let them take care of a plant in their room or start a container garden on your porch. A little green thumbing can grow a lot of love for the earth.

Energy & Water Conservation:

Teach them easy ways to save water and energy around the house. Point out that you buy energy efficient light bulbs, and remind them to turn off lights when they leave for the day.

When it comes to saving water, help them remember that every little bit counts, like turning the water off when they are brushing their teeth or in between rinsing dishes. You can also let them help you find leaks around the house. We bet they’d really enjoy the food dye experiment we shared in our Fix a Leak post.

Celebrating Earth Day in Your Community:

Every April in NJ, there are plenty of Earth Day activities that are perfect for the family. The Ciel Power family makes it a point to be at as many as possible! We can also help teach your kids the importance of having an energy efficient house. And we might be able to let you in on energy rebates for your community, too.   Northern ValleyParamusMaplewoodGlen RockMadisonHighland Park and Woodbridge residents, we'll be at this year's Earth Day events! We’d love to see you and the family around!