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291: 5 Eco-Friendly Tips to Teach Your Kids to Give Back to the Planet

My 3 year old son and I do many of my daily “gives” together. We had been planning one for quite some time as I think to teach your kids to give back to the planet is important. I had been putting it off due to time and my fear of picking up a hammer. Just so you know I am not “joe handy person” nor have basic building skills. But today I picked up a hammer and taught my son about reusing, recycling and how one person’s garbage can be anothers treasure.

Day 291: Give 291

The neighbourhood we live in in Vancouver has a lot of building going on of new homes. There are many old cottage style homes that are far from being able to save and new homes are going up on every block. We noticed that there is a lot of scrap wood that goes into these new homes that is thrown away and hauled off to a landfill. We walk past these building sites often and talk about what colour we would like to paint a house, what features like big windows we liked. One day I suggested we ask the gentleman at the building site if we could take some of the wood they were throwing away and we would build our own house in the backyard. A house just the right size for a 3 year old.  That project started about 8 months ago by collecting the wood but it has been sitting in our garage collecting dust since. We had some extra time today and I decided it was time to build our eco-friendly house. It wasn’t going to be the perfect little blue and white cottage I had envisioned but it didn’t matter to my son. He was just happy to get his tools out, put on his hard hat and get to work.

We talked about all the special things our house would have that we should all consider when building or renovating our homes. These are my 5 tips for teaching your kids how to give back to the planet.

1) Use reclaimed wood for building supplies.

2) Have large windows for natural air-conditioning.

3) Build in a sunny spot to utilize the sun as a natural heater.

4) Have a roof that could drain rain water into a “barrel” to use to water our plants (notice the angle of our roof)

5) Decorate with eco-friendly paints that won’t hurt the planet (next part of our project)

Nicolas added some “lounge chairs” as he calls them, on the inside of the house also used from our reclaimed wood and soon the painting will begin. He has been given the freedom to decorated it as he chooses as long as it won’t hurt the planet.

It would have been easy for me to go buy some special already made plastic house at Walmart but instead we spent the time doing a special project together that taught him a few things along the way. We gave back to the planet by using materials that were right outside our back door and we got to spend precious time together doing a memorable project.

Do you have a special project you have done with your kids to help teach them how to take care of the planet? We would love to hear about it. Leave us a comment or send us a note a [email protected].

Time Commitement: 1 hour

Cost: 0

What people are saying about 365give

“I wanted to express my gratitude for the teaching you provided today. Your message was delivered eloquently, compassionately, and without judgment. The kids were engaged, and now have knowledge with which they can change the world. We all appreciated how you took the time to help us learn to build positive mindsets and practice happiness.”
Shelley Gardner, Grade 6 Ridgeview Elementary (West Vancouver)
“Actions really do speak louder than words, which is why I believe the 365give Challenge has resonated throughout my community. Every give we do is so important to us and leaves us happier and appreciating our lives a little bit more than before.”
Mahina Niyozova (Tajikistan)
“After watching the 365give TEDx Talk, I was inspired to join and begin a daily giving program in India. Today, along with 12 other volunteer women, we provide 100 meals to local underprivileged children in Bangalore for school every day.”
Deepika Ahuja, Mom (Bangalore, India)
“My life has greater meaning now.”
Renate Jorge, @BeKindBrazil and 365give Member, Family Program (Brazil)
“I just wanted to share that 365give really helped me. I am a better person now, thank you.”
MayLee, 365give Member, Individual Program
“This 365give Challenge has really injected excitement and extra enthusiasm in each work day as I think about what we can do. It has motivated me and the students.”
Cristina Peters, School Counselor (New York City, USA)
“I have seen a huge shift in energy throughout my classroom since doing the 365give Challenge. The Challenge has empowered my students to make a positive difference in the school’s community and beyond.”
Cella Adriana, Special Needs Educator /The Holliswood School (New York City, USA)
“The 365give Challenge helps students understand their impact on others. It opens avenues for introducing and discussing global and local issues in classrooms. It is powerful to watch students of all ages think about how they can make a change in another person’s life with one small act.”
Jessica Hall, Primary Teacher, French Immersion at École Pauline Johnson (West Vancouver, Canada)