Growing Green Kids

For a long time, we've been a "disposable" society. We use things for a brief time and throw them out; we don't pay attention to how much energy is consumed at our homes or offices. Conserving and cutting down on waste now seems like a chore or extra work and we don't even realize that these practices are actually more expensive for us, let alone far worse for our planet!

We've been wasteful for so long, that movements now exist revolving around raising green kids and instilling conservation values and practices in our children at a young age. We need to teach them quality over quantity and reduce reuse recycle.

At first, I thought this seemed silly. Why did we need a movement to raise green kids? However, I had already grown up as a green kid and didn't realize the extent of our throw-away society. My parents recycled, composted and were adamant about conserving energy. I grew up thinking it was normal and something everyone just did. I hated landfills and didn't understand why we would add to the smelly, toxic monstrosities. My sister and I were always told to turn the water off when we brushed our teeth. Even though we lived in upstate New York, our house was and still is kept at 63 degrees in the dead of winter; we were told to just layer up in the house and on our walk to school. When I'm home now, my dad still shuts the light off in my room even if I've hopped across the hall to the bathroom for ten seconds or less.

This guys looks like he's tough on waste!
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Then, I remembered my surprise when I went to my fiancé's hometown for the first time in 2012 and learned that the city was just beginning to hand out flyers about their new free recycling program. Yes! To recycle before late 2012, you had to pay and that's never the way to motivate people to "do more work". What stunned me even more is this city is Columbus, OH, the country's 15th largest city! This was not a small town without resources for a free recycling program. Maybe this green kid movement wasn't so silly after all.

As we have figured out the importance and the benefits of conservation and recycling, there is a push to reevaluate our buying and disposing practices. Growing green kids has to be done! We need superheroes who will fight for our future! This does not mean your child can't have fun decorations or activities at their birthday parties or exciting toys to play with, it just means you can and should get creative! Your kids will love making things themselves, too, and everything will be much more original and valuable.

Changing our society to one that protects our environment and our wallets is now a priority. We'll be healthier, happier, more prosperous and more creative. What's not to love about that?

How are you raising your green kid (or your green self)?