What does it mean to “Go Green?” To “Go Green” means to make earth-conscious decisions when buying and using products or doing things to help the earth. You can do many fun and simple things every day to help the planet. Try some of these ideas at home or in the classroom.
Recycle your garbage! Recycling is a great way to help the planet! Put recycling bins next to your garbage. Separate recyclable items from your other garbage. Find out when recycled garbage is picked up from your town or bring your items to a drop-off location.
Make craft projects from recycled items such as can stilts and homemade bowling, and create a shirt from an old t-shirt.
Donate your old toys instead of throwing them away. There are many kids out there who would be happy to receive them. Make a class donation. Have everyone in class bring a toy, clothing, or shoes and bring the donation to a local homeless shelter. Don’t know where to donate? Contact your local Department of Social Services.
Make a school garden or a community garden. Use the vegetables for school lunches or for community residents.
Plant a tree!
As a school project, have the class adopt a species. When you adopt a species, you support organizations that work to keep the animal out of danger and help their habitat.
Buy school supplies and paper made from recycled products.
Use cold water instead of hot to wash clothes, brush teeth, rinse vegetables, and wash dishes. Using cold water uses less energy and saves money.
Why drive when you can walk or ride? If you’re going short distances, take a walk with friends, classmates, and family, or ride your bike. Driving less will help save gas, cause less air pollution, and gives you exercise.
Unplug electronic items when they are not in use. Anything that uses electricity still uses electricity even when they are turned off. Unplugging things such as radios, t.v, and video games will save energy and money.
Always use refillable bottles instead of plastic water bottles. Did you know that only 12% of plastic bottles are recycled? The other 88% end up in landfills.
When buying items, look for products that say “organic,” “sustainably harvested,” “fair trade,” or “post-consumer.” Avoid items that have words in their ingredients that start with “nitro” or end with “methyl” or “ethyl.”
Bring your own cloth bags when shopping. Did you know that it takes 14 million trees to make all the paper bags used in the US each year? It takes 12 million barrels of oil to make all the plastic bags yearly!
Organize a local clean-up day. You can clean up the local park, school, or even neighborhood.
Watch how much water you use. Take a shorter shower, turn off the water while brushing your teeth, fix leaky faucets, and only use the dishwasher when it is full.
Use solar lighting. On a sunny day, turn off the lights and open all the curtains wide. Let all the sunlight in. The sun is the planet’s biggest light source, and it’s free to take advantage of it.
Use “green” products when cleaning. It is better for the environment and saves money for an all-purpose cleaner, mixing baking soda and warm water. Put it in a spray bottle. Use lemons to remove soap scum; it also cleans glasses and dishes. Use white vinegar to clean your toilets and shower.
Don’t wrap sandwiches and snacks in plastic or aluminum foil when packing kids’ lunches. Pack lunch in reusable containers and use a reusable lunch box. Buy large juice containers and refill reusable bottles.
Buy rechargeable batteries. Batteries contain many chemicals, such as mercury and lead, that can harm humans and animals. When batteries are thrown away, they when up in landfills. Those chemicals will start to leak out and get into the soil and water, which is bad for the environment.
Turn off the lights when you leave the room. Instead of using incandescent light bulbs, buy compact fluorescent light bulbs. Did you know that if everyone in America switched one light bulb to a compact fluorescent light, it would save enough energy to power 3 million homes for a year!