Do you know what the term “eco-friendly” means? It is likely you have heard a lot on the importance of being responsible about taking care of the earth, recycling, and not being wasteful. These days more and more people are choosing to live in ways that leave behind less of a “carbon-footprint.” These terms essentially mean you live in a way that tries to eliminate as much waste as possible so that the natural resources we use do not become over-taxed and eventually wiped out. We have to be kind to planet Earth because it is the only home we have until Jesus comes to take us to heaven. Taking care of what God has given us is good “stewardship”—and that’s another term you can learn to help you remember to live responsibly and be kind to the environment.
So what can you do as a kid? How can you help your family live a more “eco-friendly” life? Turns out, there are many things you can do—so we’ve compiled a list to get you started. Try sharing it with your parents or guardians and see what works for you.
  1. Don’t Be an Energy Hog
Go around your home and unplug items that you are currently not using such as toasters, stereos, phone chargers, hair dryers, etc.
  1. Go on Waste Patrol
All of the members in your family can be in charge of monitoring a certain area of your home to make sure lights are turned off when not in use, your faucets are off, unused electronic devices are unplugged, etc. Together, the whole family can work toward lowering your utility bills and that’s something we know your parents will be thrilled to do!
  1. What Do You Really Need for School?
We all love to get new gear to start the school year, but before hitting the stores, it would wise to take a survey of the things you may already have. If you’ve got notebooks, backpacks, pens, and binders that still have some life in them, keep them around for the new school year and only replace the things that really need replacing.
  1. Overhaul Your House
Now is a great time to take stock of toys that you are no longer using. Be honest with yourself. If you haven’t played with it in a long time, it’s time to let it go. You can donate these items to your local thrift store or go to a Web site such as Freecyle.org to learn about giving them away there.
  1. Raise Some Money
If your entire family goes through your home and decides on toys, furniture, books, and clothes that you are not using anymore, how about having a garage sale? You’d be surprised at how many people enjoy shopping these sales for treasures you may not value anymore. You can even take the profits from the sale and donate them to charity. Check out ADRA.org for ideas on how you can make a financial contribution to help other kids around the world through unique projects.
  1. Family Dinner Isn’t Just Your Mom or Dad’s Job
Plan meals together as a family project. It is not only a good thing for the family, but is a great way to eat healthier and reduce waste. Why not try creating meals with a surprise ingredient of someone’s choosing like they do on Iron Chef? There could even be a prize awarded to the most creative contribution!
  1. Make Your Neighborhood a Better Place
If you have worked hard on making your home and garden a better place, share your skills with elderly neighbors. We’re sure they’d be happy for any help you can give them and it will make you feel great too!