Green Ways to Have Fun This Summer

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Water Toys, Library Books, Question and Answer Sessions…

green pool toys

You may be reading the title of the piece when it actually gets published, and while we here in the States are still pretty deeply entrenched in the middle of spring. You may be asking yourself — Summer?! Already?! It’s not even May yet! But fear not. It’s never too early to plan, especially when it comes down to learning more about how you can adopt some greener living practices, swapping out old habits for more eco-conscious new ones. Take your kids and how they entertain themselves during the summer months when they may be off from school for an extended period of time, for example. Have you thought about how this could become a green (educational) experience for your family?

Part of the experience of being green involves a bit of imagination, and trying to get your kids to be a bit more environmentally aware will not be an exception. But if you can treat it like a game, and invite them to use their imaginations in order to develop greater consciousness when it comes to their behavior, you might end up having a great experience, and so will your kids. And if their behavior can change as a result, then you can rest happily that you’ve done something solid for the planet as well. Let’s think about this.

Do you have a pool? Is it loaded with fun and (hopefully) safe pool accessories that your kids end up loving to play with? Have you made sure that those pool accessories are made from safe, preferably recycled materials? It’s not that hard to think that extra thought, rather than just taking things like this for granted. Many pool toys are made from materials that are environmentally sound, and some of them even have an element of “re-use,” in that they are actually remnants cast off from some other industrial use. Step one, done.

More Ways to Make Summer Vacation Green for Your Kids

When it comes to toys, why not take advantage of a couple of different aspects of being more green. Take a simple toy like water guns. Sure, they may be made of plastic. But the mechanism that makes the toy function is so basic, that unless you run the thing over with a truck, chances are it’s going to work for a long long time. That being said, rather than purchasing a new toy water gun, have you thought about looking for a used one? What about a hand me down from a neighbor, family member, or older friend? Recycling things rather than asking for more materials from the planet can be an awesome step towards developing deeper consciousness about the world in which we live.

toy water gunsAnd speaking of water guns — don’t waste the water! Why not incorporate playing with water guns into watering the plants? Restrict the hours of water gun play to when the sun is not at its peak heat, so that whatever water falls on the ground may do some good when it comes to watering the plants. Or consider only allowing the use of things like water guns in places like the pool. That way, the water that your kids use to fill up the toys, then gets emptied right back into the pool, and none of it is wasted. As part of all these “rules,” try to incorporate some question and answer time for your kids. Let them come to terms with how and why you and your family are making these “strange” decisions. Make it fun, and be honest, and see what kind of positive reaction you just may get.

Let’s talk about the library. Reading, maybe at an all time low, except when it comes to Y.A. literature, which may or may not be exactly what you’d like your kids to be reading. Don’t let that discourage you. There are plenty of inspiring summer reading programs on the Internet, in schools, and in libraries themselves, that will promote and foster a love of reading in your kids. Why buy books brand new? Why fire up the Kindle when there are thousands of books probably down the street from your home, at the local library? Teaching your kids the value of things in the public trust, and of being responsible to the small commitments they make as children (checking a book out for two weeks, making sure to return it on time or check it out again), are extremely vital lessons of socialization. And you can take advantage of them, while going a bit more green this summer!

Have you got some green thoughts on how to help your kids have a more eco-conscious summer vacation? Leave a comment below and let us know!

[Photo Via: freshome]

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