It is important to teach our children to respect and care for our planet, and the concept of "Reduce, Reuse and Recycle" is an easy way to help them understand their impact on the environment.
Learning the three Rs at a young age not only helps the Earth, but it also helps children learn to be responsible consumers.
Our children are growing up in an increasingly materialistic world, where we are encouraged to possess more and more. This is not only harmful to the natural world around us, but it can also lead to financial stress.
Help your children develop good consumer habits that will benefit them and the environment.
Here are some ideas that you can get the whole family thinking about:
Reduce: Limit the amount of "stuff" coming into your home.
• Instead of buying gifts for each other for special occasions, switch the focus to spending time together doing activities you enjoy.
• Borrow instead of buying, and lend out items you don’t use often but are not ready to let go.
• Buy second-hand items.
• Resist buying something you don’t really need just because it is a great deal. Paying for an item you might not use is not saving you any money.
Reuse: Use what you already have before acquiring more.
• Always take reusable shopping bags with you to the store.
• Repair rather than replace broken items when possible.
• Sell, share or donate clothes, toys, and household items you no longer use. Don’t let your old things accumulate in the closet, basement or garage when someone else could be enjoying them.
• Rotate your child’s toys every few weeks, putting some away and bringing out others that she has not played with in a while.
Recycle: Dispose of waste responsibly.
• Paper, aluminum cans, glass and plastic containers are some items that can be recycled. Fruits and vegetables, egg shells, coffee grounds, grass, leaves and twigs can be composted.
• Find out your community’s recycling capabilities. To learn about recycling within the City of Brandon, visit www.brandon.ca/sanitation and view the Recycling Guide.
Shawna Munro works at the Elspeth Reid Family Resource Centre, a facility of Child and Family Services of Western Manitoba that offers parenting information and support.
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