Growing Up Green

Growing Up Green

Climate change, deforestation, and other environmental issues affect all of us, but together we can all help save the planet with small, everyday acts. Here are some simple ways you and your kids can help heal our planet.

6 min read

Change old habits

When they were younger, my kids used to love drawing. However, they would scribble a little bit then move on to another clean sheet. To avoid wasting so much paper, I put all the scratch paper in a box I labelled as “Arts and Crafts”.  They could use the clean side for drawings; once both sides had been filled, they could still use the paper for origami, making small kites, or wrapping paper for gifts. My relatives and friends were also delighted to receive gifts with such personalized wrapping paper.

Another habit we changed was buying brand new school supplies at the start of every school year. Now, we do an inventory of last year’s school items and see what can still be used – crayons, pencils, notebooks, pad papers. We launder and clean old backpacks and mend any tears. My daughter even came up with the idea of using iron-on patches to update her school bag! Proof that if you let them, kids can come up with creative new ideas to upcycle and recycle.

At home, we also avoid using the air conditioners every day. We live in a cool area near Tagaytay so we rarely use them, but when it’s really hot, we just stay in one room and share the air conditioner. We pretend we’re on family camping and have fun with our sleeping mats – making saving electricity an enjoyable family effort.

Look at new ways to do old things 

I was once a Ziplock-loving-Mama, much like other moms out there. I also used non-drip plastic containers for their lunch food. I later on realized that these plastic containers were very bad for the environment and for my children’s health. 

I moved on to non-drip glass containers, which were safer but still had plastic and rubber lids, and eventually to insulated metal containers. I wrapped sandwiches in washable napkins instead of resealable plastic bags. I explained each change to the kids, so they knew that even by just using a different baunan, they were doing something for the environment. They’ve been using the same insulated metal water containers for over four years; they don’t ask for new ones. They know it would be wasteful when these work perfectly well, despite the scratches and dents.  

Instead of bringing our kids to the mall, we bring them to parks, the beach, or simply encourage them to run around in the grass and climb trees. Mother Nature becomes a real entity to them when they can touch and smell her. Watch the clouds together, and show them the different kinds of flowers. Let them have a real relationship with the world around them. 

The change starts at home

We also made our home as green as we possibly can. We have solar panels, a simple rainwater catchment system, and an edible garden. The kids use the rainwater to water the plants and they help maintain the edible garden. Their school includes farming in their curriculum for every grade level, seeing how nature works and how they directly affect the planet with their little hands. These instances provide a deeper understanding of the symbiotic relationship we have with our planet. 

When their clothes have minor tears in them, instead of buying new ones, we mend them. Socks are the most notorious, with seams coming loose at the big toe area. I let them help me sew what we can, and recycle those that are too worn-out or too small into hand puppets or as basahans.

Saving the planet can sound like a daunting, herculean task but by simply involving your children in every conscious effort, they will grow up to be responsible stewards of our planet.

 

The views and opinions expressed by the writer are his/her own, and does not state or reflect those of Wyeth Nutrition and its principals.

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About The Writer

 

DONNA CUNA PITADonna Cuna-Pita

Donna Cuna-Pita is a former magazine editor who is currently a freelance writer, stylist, and speaker. She's happily married to her highschool sweetheart and a proud mom to two teenagers. She spends most of her time tending to her edible garden, trying out new recipes, and doing DIY projects at her home in the suburbs. Follow her DIY adventures on Instagram at @donnacunapita.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The views and opinions expressed by the writer are his/her own, and does not state or reflect those of Wyeth Nutrition and its principals.

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