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Raising Eco-Friendly Kids


Simple ideas to encourage "being green" in your home


eco

April 2014

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." - The Lorax

Many parents first heard the environmental message of Dr. Seuss's The Lorax when the book came out in 1971. Encouraging these same "green" ideas for our children today is easier than one might think.

Before kids can learn to take care of the world around them, they have to learn to love it. That's why environmental education experts encourage families to get outside and play in nature in order to build an appreciation for the environment.

"Children understand naturally that they ARE nature. They are intrinsically connected," says Jim Poyser, Executive Director of Earth Charter Indiana, which seeks to inspire and advance sustainable, just and peaceful living in Indiana. "The most important thing a family can do is be outside. Period. Parents must support this intrinsic love for nature kids have – they'll grow up to be good stewards as a result."

Children are hands-on learners, so making a game out of environmental lessons helps these messages sink in. Kids can aid with recycling by smashing cardboard boxes, and sort cans and bottles by color, size or recycling numbers. With a parent's help, they can shred junk mail and repurpose it into paper mache art. Working together with your children provides an opportunity for you to talk about how our actions impact the environment, in good and bad ways.

"Plant a new Truffula. Treat it with care. Give it clean water. And feed it fresh air." - The Lorax

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You can celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day (Tuesday, April 22) by contributing to reforestation efforts in Indiana. The Indiana Tree Project is a statewide initiative managed by the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation and Indiana Department of Resources Division Of Forestry. The goal is to plant one million new trees in Indiana by 2016. Each $10 donation receives a TreeID so donors know exactly where their tree is planted and can visit the site. Visit www.theindianatreeproject.org for more information.

Tags: Featured Article, Featured Article, In This Issue, Parenting

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