7 Environmentally Friendly Activities You Can Enjoy With Your Kids
Today's youth are concerned about the environment. The youth climate activists are asking adults to embrace change and sustainable efforts. Support their conservation efforts by encouraging environmentally friendly activities that the whole family can enjoy.
Camping is a great way to spend quality time as a family and promote a love of nature. Camping can take many forms. You may want to start out slow and simple by pitching a tent in the backyard for a night. You can graduate to nearby parks or campgrounds. Once you are confident in your abilities and gear, there are no limits to where camping can take you. No matter how you choose to embrace this pastime, always teach your children the seven principles developed by Leave No Trace so they can learn to be good stewards of the outdoors.
Visit an Organic Farm
Agritourism is booming in many places. Get everyone together and visit an organic or sustainable farming operation. Most people don't have to look very far to find a place that welcomes tourists of every age. Check with the local chamber of commerce to see what is in your area. Many farms offer tours, hands-on experiences and workshops or classes where you can learn how to embrace these practices at home. Not all farms are focused on raising food, either. Plan an amazing green vacation to a Hawaii solar farming operation for inspiration into renewable energy in a relaxing and fun tropical setting.
Plant a Garden
There is something satisfying about getting your hands dirty in a garden that even the youngest kids can appreciate. Add flowers around patios and decks for a pop of color or take over a corner of the yard with a small vegetable bed. If you don't have a lot of space, there are plenty of plants that do well in containers or raised beds. This is a great place to put those sustainable practices you learned at a farm workshop into practice, too.
Build a Mud-Brick Fort
Adobe has been used for millennia as a reliable rebuilding material in arid climates. It is an environmentally friendly, fireproof and relatively inexpensive building material. You can make your own mud bricks at home and build a backyard fort for year-round fun and adventures. It isn't very difficult as long as you have the right kind of soil and the building process itself is a great learning experience for any age.
A handful of birdseed can open up a whole world of wonder. Birds are entertaining and beautiful to watch, especially if you don't mind sitting still for a while. Set up a bird feeder in your yard and you will be amazed at what shows up for a snack. For an even bigger eco-conscious choice, have each family member make their own DIY bird feeder out of recycled and repurposed materials around the house.
The average roof collects close to 600 gallons of water per inch of rain that falls. That's a lot of water that is basically wasted as it flows through gutters and into storm drains. Rain barrels are a great way to harvest this runoff and put it to good use. Install them at downspouts and use them to water gardens and the lawn. A single rain barrel can save you up to 1,300 gallons of water a year, which means your water bills will go down, too.
Volunteer for Beach Clean Up
The seas and beaches are in need of help. Research local groups that are working to clean up beaches and help support marine life and find out how you and your family can participate. Most are happy to have a willing crew of volunteers, and it gives your kids a chance to have a direct impact on the health of their environment.
Whether you enjoy watching birds, working with natural building materials, or visiting a working farm, keep the focus on nurturing a love of nature and an environmentally-conscious mindset in your children. It doesn't matter what type of green activities you choose. What does matter is that you spend healthy, positive quality time together as a family.