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Being Earth-Friendly in Your Home
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Type: Projects   Skills: Health & SafetyScience & Environment
Young children learn about the world around them by interacting with it. For this reason, kids need early experiences with nature so they can learn to respect the environment. But how do we encourage and motivate our children to want to care for the earth? Here’s three ways you can encourage your kids to be active participants in nurturing the environment. Being Earth-Friendly in Your Home
What We Learn
Model ways to respect & care for the environment
Talk about ways to recycle, reuse & reduce
Provide frequent, positive experiences outdoors
Plan activities that engage kids in caring for the environment
Supply List
Homemade Recycling Center
Three boxes
Red, blue and yellow construction paper
Marker
Tape

Plant Your Own Garden
Window box planter
Soil
Seeds

Homemade Non-Toxic, All-Purpose Spray Cleaner
1/2 teaspoon washing soda (sodium carbonate)
A dab of liquid soap
2 cups of hot tap water
Spray bottle
How-To
Doing your part to care for the environment doesn't have to cost much. In fact, it can even cut down on some costs. Here’s three easy and inexpensive ways to be more environmentally conscious as a family.

Homemade Recycling Center
Creating your own recycling center at home is easy. Simply gather three medium-sized cardboard boxes. Take a different color construction paper and label each box. On a yellow piece of construction paper, write “Paper” and tape it to the first box. On a blue piece of construction paper, write “Plastic” and tape it to the second box. On a red piece of construction paper, write “Metal” and tape it to the third box.

Once you’ve created your recycling bins, place them in a convenient place and encourage your children to use them everyday. They can sort through items, placing them into their corresponding boxes.

Plant Your Own Garden
Planting your own garden is not only good for the environment, but it can also save you money at the grocery store. Even if you don’t have your own backyard, you can still plant your own herbs using a window box planter. You could grow basil, rosemary, cilantro and many other herbs used everyday in cooking.

If you do have space in a backyard for your own garden, then you can grow all sorts of great vegetables, such as lettuce, carrots and cucumbers. Not only will you save money, but it will ensure that your produce doesn’t have pesticides. Plus, this is a great way to get your kids involved and open up a dialogue about nature, which as we’ve learned is important to helping kids gain an understanding and respect for the environment.

Homemade Non-Toxic, All-Purpose Spray Cleaner
Creating your own all-purpose spray cleaner is easy. Simply take 1/2 teaspoon of washing soda (sodium carbonate), add a dab of liquid soap and two cups hot tap water. Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake until the washing soda has dissolved. Apply and wipe off with a sponge or rag.

You can also make other kinds of non-toxic cleaners. Since the ingredients being used are all non-toxic, you can actually encourage your kids to help you make them. Besides modeling this environmentally conscious behavior, it can also turn into a fun exploration of math, since there’s some measuring involved.

Making your own cleaners is environmentally conscious in two ways. First, you avoid buying and disposing of all the packages and bottles that commercially sold cleaners come pre-packaged in. Second, the ingredients you will be using in your cleaner are not toxic. As a bonus, you’re saving money.
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