Recycling and Green Home Renovations

While protecting the environment is everyone's responsibility, the best time to learn about sustainable living is during one's youth. Children who learn how to protect and conserve natural resources will pick up habits that last for the rest of their lives. Recycling is one of the most important eco-friendly activities that children can participate in; however, recycling and eco-friendly behaviors aren't just for children. Homeowners can also benefit from environmentally conscious actions such as recycling. For example, when remodeling one's home, using recycled materials not only protects the environment but can also cut down on costs.

Recycling for Kids

People can learn about recycling and reusing things early in their childhood. Teaching children the basics can be as easy as telling them which items are to be recycled and why and showing them where to properly dispose of them. For example, parents can teach children to put aluminum cans in a recycling bin or even take them to turn in soda cans and bottles for pocket money. Parents and teachers can explain to kids how reusing materials prevents them from being thrown into landfills and how having fewer landfills is beneficial to the environment.

Items can often be reused in creative ways as well. Parents can teach their children that recycling is enjoyable by using recyclable items in craft projects. Old clothing such as a worn-out pair of jeans can be turned into fun handbags or book covers. The blank back side of printed paper can be turned into scratch pads for notes and lists or into drawing pads. Drawers from old furniture may be transformed into beds for one's pet or into interesting planter boxes. Even simply donating items to charity or for use in shelters can be considered a form of recycling, as the unwanted items are given new purpose as opposed to being thrown out and wasted.

Green Home Improvements and Renovations

Home improvements can turn everyday tasks into environmental friendly actions that families can be proud of. These improvements can be relatively minor, such as installing shower heads that are low-flow, putting a water aerator on faucets, or buying and installing a thermostat that can be programmed. Weatherstripping is yet another relatively inexpensive home improvement that can have a positive impact, as can changing any single-pane window in the home to dual-pane. During renovations, homeowners should use recycled or renewable materials. For example, when replacing countertops, use ones that are paper-based or made of recycled glass. If using lumber, it should come from sustainable forestry or one should use wood that has been reclaimed. Adding solar roof panels can help reduce one's reliance on non-replenishing energy sources and will help make one's home a greener environment.