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Be an eco parent

Being a eco parent not only set's a good example for your children, it's good for your family's health and wellbeing. If you lead by example, your children will learn from you and realise that change can be good. Here are some easy ways to be an eco parent.

 

Walk on the wild side

It seems we never walk anywhere these days. It's a case of hop into the car to go wherever we need. I remember as a young child that we walked everywhere. I know it was probably much safer in those days, but it seems that we spend far too much time in our cars and very little time walking anywhere. Check out walks in your area. Most Botanical Parks have guided walks through the site and the kids will definitely enjoy the outing. Pack up a picnic basket and head out of the day.

Needed something from the shop? We walked there. Instead of loading your child in the car and driving to the park, why not walk there instead? Strap your child in the stroller, set some snacks in his tray and hit the road – well, sidewalk. If you love to bike, get a baby bicycle seat or tag-along trailer (depending on the child's age), and pedal your way to the park.

Have we forgotten farm stalls

One of my fondest memories is driving long distances for holidays and stopping along the way at various farm stalls for fresh fruit and veggies to eat along the way. Everything always tasted so much nicer when it was straight from the farm. A short drive and you can still encounter a few farm stalls on the road.

Family time

Children spend too much time in front of the telly, or computer screen. I've often said that we are going to evolve into a generation of humans that have no fingers - we'll only need thumbs!

Save energy while spending time together as a family by switching off the -TV, computer, iPad, iPhone, cell phone - and make quality time a special time. For younger children you could invent new games that the whole family can play. Older children can get involved in crafts and hobbies. Spend time outdoors discussing nature and wildlike. We live in such a vast, beautiful country, yet few have been further than the coast for their annual holiday.

Lead by example

Although many young children already know quite a bit about becoming more eco-friendly, let them share in what you do. Explain why we are recycling and how it helps towards a better planet.

Discuss how your family can become green simply by making a few small changes:

  • Rather than leaving the tap on when brushing teeth, fill a container with water and use this to rinse.

  • Set up a small compost heap in the garden and let children be reponsible for managing it - you could also include a worm farm to make it more fun.

  • Clean your home with green alternatives instead of harsh chemicals.

  • Let children be responsible for their own rooms by switching off appliances when not in use.

  • When shopping, let children look for eco-friendly alternatives and organic foods and then discuss why these are better.

  • Let your children make suggestions for ways they think will help to heal our planet.

When families work together, change becomes easy and our children play a postive role in 'greening' our planet.

 

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