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Published: Friday, 9/10/2010

How to Help Kids 'Go Green'

(ARA) - Kids are increasingly aware of the issues impacting their environment, and are even more engaged and excited about making their world a greener place. Parents can involve their children in "going green" with a few simple steps, and show them how they, too, can make a big contribution to Mother Earth.

Families can celebrate Earth Month all year long by turning everyday tasks into fun and productive steps for children that illustrate how they can help make our planet a greener and healthier place. It doesn't take a lot of effort -- helping your kids "go green" can happen at home, at school or even through play.

The first step is to learn about the issue and start a conversation with your child in a way that makes sense to them. Parents can utilize eco-themed toys or movies as a fun way to start a dialogue with their kids about the importance of protecting their planet. Look for a green theme in products, toys and shows they already love, like the new "Barbie Presents: Thumbelina" DVD. Thumbelina, the star of the DVD, harnesses the magic of nature to save her home in the wildflowers from developers, and sets out to prove that even the smallest person can make a big difference. The movie can ignite a conversation between parents and children about the small things they can do as a family to help give back to their environment.

"One of the most powerful ways my daughter Lola can learn about protecting the environment is through play," explains Sophie Uliano, eco-expert, blogger and author of "Gorgeously Green: 8 Simple Steps to an Earth-Friendly Life." "'Barbie Presents: Thumbelina' offers an inspirational message as well as an engaging product line that allows us to do green activities together, such as gardening and recycling in a fun fashionable way."

Inspire your kids to start thinking "green" with a few of these simple eco-tips that can make a big difference:

* Plant a garden at home -- Carve out a small patch in your yard just for your child to plant a garden. Incorporating toys like the Thumbelina Solar Garden Activity set are a great way to introduce kids to gardening.

* Turn recycling into a game -- Turn this chore into something fun that the whole family can participate in by creating a fun sorting game or by decorating different recycling bins with recyclable materials.

* Choose reusable goods for everyday eats -- Take a reusable water bottle to sports or dance practice and pack lunch in a fun reusable lunch box or bag.

* Conserve water -- Talk to your kids about how much water they save by taking a shower instead of a bath and by turning off the faucet while brushing their teeth.

* Save electricity -- Assign a "Power Captain" of the household -- someone responsible for turning off the lights whenever the family leaves leave a room or the house; give the Power Captain points or small rewards for every light they turn off.

Before you know it, your kids will be on their way to an eco-friendly lifestyle. Encourage them to spread the word to other family members and friends to join the green movement. Together everyone can help preserve a green, clean and healthy Earth for generations to come.

For more eco-tips on how you and your family can protect Earth, visit www.epa.gov/kids.

Courtesy of ARAcontent



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