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Crafted by Sarah Ahrens

Becoming a Green Family… One Step at a time

Now I must admit that I have fought, somewhat, the green initiative that has become so fashionable. Not sure why, but most likely it is because it is something that takes effort (see this link). I am not a lazy person, but I am a very busy person. The thought of having to come up with ways to become green leaves me tired!

But the reality is that there are so many resources out there to help me. For example, see Yahoo’s Green Living Page. Most things have already been thought of and I just need to apply them to my life. The reality is, once I start it will become much easier and more natural.

I have four kids, ranging in age from 3 to 9. I have goals and dreams for them and one of them is to make them more socially responsible – and this includes being green. They hear about it in school, friends’ houses, and on TV…shouldn’t they hear about it in our home too? The answer is, unequivocally, yes!

So we are starting small, but will build our list as our kids start to grasp the concepts and develop the habits, which is the whole goal. Here is what we are doing now:

1) Turning off lights when you are not in the room.

2) Trying to decide what we want to take out of the fridge BEFORE we open it (my 6-yr-old came up with this one!)

3) Recycling – cans, bottles, paper, etc. We have a fun can crusher the kids get to use.

4) Refilling water bottles with our own filtered water.

5) Using compact fluorescent bulbs.

I realize that most people are doing these things or at least know about them. I am trying to develop the habits and having conversation with my children while we are doing these things – showing them why and explaining our responsibilities. As they get older we’ll have larger goals, but right now this is our little start…and it’s working! It’s becoming a part of our family vernacular and lifestyle. It may not be easy, but it is worthwhile!

For more great ideas on staying green as a family, check out this link.