As the spring season approaches, it’s easy to start thinking about the warm weather and longer daylight hours, but it’s important to also think about the earth. Earth day falls on April 22nd each year, but it’s important to think about how to be eco-friendly year-round. Below are a few ideas of how to keep your family entertained and environmentally conscious this spring.
Make Recycled Crafts
Making fun crafts can be a great way to spend time together and make something fun. To add an eco-friendly spin to crafting, challenge your kids to create something that is entirely made up of recycled or reused materials. Depending on their age, you can give them a handful of materials to choose from, or you can let them loose to find things in your home and yard that are going to be discarded that they can use to make something new. This can help them develop their creativity as well as see that new things don’t have to be made up entirely of new materials.
Gardening is a great family activity that is also very eco-friendly. As the ground thaws in the spring, it’s a great time to get outside and get started on your gardening for the year. Your kids can help you with many gardening tasks, just make sure to take into account their age and ability levels when you’re asking them for help with different tasks. Plant some fruits and vegetables to be a little extra eco-friendly!
Find Ways to Save Electricity
There are many ways to use less electricity in your daily life, but if you work as a family to brainstorm ways to use less electricity, it can stick better in your kids’ minds. There are 5.5 million miles of local distribution lines for electricity in the United State’s electrical grid, and taking some of the stress off of that system can help it work more effectively and save energy. Something as simple as unplugging a device once you’re done using it or making sure that you turn the lights off when you’re the last one to leave the room can help save a lot of electricity over time. Figure out some specific ways that your family can decrease your electricity usage to make sure that you can actually cut back in your daily lives.
Bike Around Your Town
Once the weather is warm enough, start taking weekly bike rides to explore your town and the surrounding areas. It’s a great way to have fun family bonding time without worrying about polluting the environment. You can find new places that you might not have noticed if you were driving around your town, get some good exercise, and bond as a family. That makes bike riding one of the best eco-friendly spring activities for your family.
Cut Back on Your Water Usage
Similarly to saving electricity, talk as a family about ways that you can use less water. Only 1% of the water on earth is suitable for drinking, and while we can take that for granted in developed countries, it’s important to think about conservation. Some easy ways to cut back on your water usage include taking shorter showers, turning off the water while brushing your teeth or washing your face, and using a dishwasher instead of washing your dishes by hand. Ask your kids what they think they can do and try to achieve those water-saving efforts together.
Do a Park Clean-Up
Litter is a big problem everywhere, but especially in the places that see a lot of foot traffic, like popular parks or walking paths. Every time that you go to a place like that, challenge everyone in your family to pick up a certain number of pieces of litter. If you’re worried about what’s on the litter, you can pack gloves to use to pick up the litter as well as hand sanitizer. Over time, your family will be responsible for picking up a lot of litter and making the earth a little bit cleaner of a place.
When the weather starts getting nicer, it can be easy to want to spend every moment possible soaking in the outdoors. It’s a great opportunity to encourage some healthy habits with your kids by finding new ways to get moving outdoors. Depending on the size of your family, you can arrange games like soccer or basketball, or you can try for more solitary forms of exercise, like yoga. 28% of Americans have tried yoga at some point, and doing yoga outside is a great way to soak in the good weather and take care of your body at the same time. Getting outside to enjoy the weather while also getting out some energy and helping your body is a great way to spend the spring.
Go on a Flower Hunt
A flower hunt is a great way to spend time outdoors and keep your family entertained. Next time you’re at a park, challenge everyone to find as many different types of flowers as they can. If you can, have everyone take pictures of their flowers instead of picking them so that you aren’t disrupting nature too much. After you’ve found as many flowers as you can, go home and do some research to find out what kind of flowers they are.
Play in the Rain
Spring means a lot of rain in many climates, and playing in the rain can be a very fun activity. You don’t want to get sick from spending time out in the rain, so make sure that you’re being smart about it and properly layering up in raincoats and boots, and not spending too long outside. Once you’re done, dry off and warm up with a nice cup of hot chocolate or tea and watch a movie to get the full rainy day experience.
Being eco-friendly and bonding with your family can go hand in hand with these springtime activities. Teaching your kids about the importance of being eco-friendly is a great way to help prepare them to have eco-friendly habits as they grow up.