Today, children have more power than ever to help save planet Earth from pollution and reduce the waste we produce on a daily basis. Thanks to the Internet, you have more sources of information at your fingertips than your parents had at their disposal when they were your age. Read these steps to learn a few fun and useful things you can do to do our planet good.
Method 1 of 3: In your home and on your own
Step 1. Help with recycling
Recycling programs exist almost anywhere today. What they do is clean and process certain types of waste to reuse the materials, which reduces the need to continue consuming resources to continuously produce the products we need on a daily basis. Help the adults in your home by collecting and organizing recyclable waste and taking care of taking it out to the street for the recyclable garbage truck to pick it up.
- Read the instructions printed on the recyclable trash can in your home to find out what you can and cannot recycle. You can generally recycle paper, thin plastics (like milk sachets or grocery bags), thin metals (like soda cans), and glass. Depending on where you live, you may also be able to recycle thicker plastics, Styrofoam, and other similar materials.
- Organize recyclables. Check bottles and cans to make sure they have been rinsed. It is not necessary to wash them in depth, but it is also not appropriate that they are washed in half. Once you check that everything is in order, classify the materials according to their type. If you use separate bins for each type of garbage, this part of the process will be easier for you. But if you haven't done it yet, you can start doing it to get an idea of how much waste of each type is generated daily.
Maintain regularity. Depending on how big your family is and how busy they are during the day, you can do this classification once a week, or spend a few minutes on it each day. The good news is, after doing it for the first time, it will take next to no time each time you do it again.
The night before the recyclable garbage truck passes, remember to take all the waste out to the street so that they can collect and load it
Step 2. Reduce energy consumption
The energy your home consumes for things like hot water, air conditioning, and electricity is generated by different plants, each of which processes different types of fuels to generate energy. Some fuels pollute less than others (hydroelectric energy, generated by the passage of water) is less polluting than that generated by burning coal. However, regardless of the method, extracting energy from the environment has an effect on the planet. Make your contribution using as little energy as possible.
- Turn off lights and electronics (televisions and video games) when you're not using them. Before turning off the family computer, ask your parents, as there are sometimes reasons why computers should be left on. During the day, open blinds and curtains and take advantage of natural sunlight rather than artificial light.
Keep the thermostat temperature moderate. If you live in a house that has hot / cold air conditioning, ask your parents not to set it below 22 ° C during the summer and 20 ° C during the winter (when it is cold in the house it is better to use more blankets and wrap up more). At night, in rooms where no one sleeps, set the thermostat below 13 ° C.
If you live in a cold area, do not set the thermostat below 13 ° C. Doing so could freeze the pipes overnight
- Use less water. Take short showers instead of soaking baths, and turn off the tap when you're not using the water, for example while brushing your teeth. Everything you do to save water is valuable!
Step 3. Start reusing items
Ask your parents to buy 3-4 reusable shopping bags. Their price is usually not too high and you will automatically decrease the amount of paper or plastic they consume each time they make purchases. As for your own stuff, start bringing a plastic lunch box to school. They are better than paper bags and you can also keep the bags inside to take them to the recyclable garbage at home. Also ask them to buy you a recyclable hard plastic or metal bottle to carry your drink.
- Make sure to clean your shopping bags once a week to prevent them from being ruined by dirt. Scrub them in the kitchen sink with a sponge and dry them in the sun for a couple of hours.
- Use the plastic bags from the supermarket that are in your house for the trash cans in the bathroom and in your room. They are an ideal size for small garbage cans and thus you can reduce the consumption of bags made especially for these purposes.
- When choosing a water bottle, make sure it's BPA-free plastic. Thus, you can use it without fear. Long-term plastics with BPA become dangerous because they contaminate the liquid they contain.
Method 2 of 3: In the garden
Step 1. Plant trees
Talk to your parents about the benefits of planting trees. Deciduous (seasonal) trees near windows are a good way to get some shade during the summer when their leaves are green, and during the fall and winter when they lose their leaves they allow light to enter the house. In addition, any kind of tree absorbs carbon dioxide and transforms it into oxygen, helping us breathe cleaner air.
- Take a look at a tree catalog and find what kinds of trees will grow to an appropriate height in the area where you live, without affecting the rest of the plants in the garden. There is a tree for almost any geographic area.
- Find out the care you should take with your tree and water it regularly after you have planted it. Take care of the sapling and when it has grown you will have a strong and robust tree next to your house.
Step 2. Cut less grass
Some parents will not agree to leaving the front yard of the house untidy to take care of the image of the house, but they may agree to cut the grass in the back of your house less frequently. Lawnmowers are very polluting, so the less you mow, the less smog you'll be releasing into the atmosphere.
- In exchange for letting it grow longer before cutting it, offer to cut it yourself. It is good to know how to cut the pace. When you get a little older you may be able to earn some money cutting the grass for other neighbors.
- If there is a manual lawn mower in your house, there is no need to reprogram the mowing, as they are not polluting at all. Of course, they are more difficult to use than mechanical ones.
Step 3. Water less, especially in the summer
You can make a big contribution to the environment by moderating your water consumption. In fact, there are many cities that ask their inhabitants to respect irrigation limitations to save water. Of course, the downside to this is that towards the end of the summer the grass will dry out. But on the other hand, you will be clear about the reasons why it happens.
In winter, it is practically unnecessary to water the garden. If your house has a habit of watering throughout the year, ask them to stop watering for the winter
Step 4. Use biodegradable products
There are many fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides that help maintain a beautiful garden, but some of these products become dangerous if you use them regularly. Try to find out what products they use in your home and then look online for more sustainable alternatives that do not harm the environment. Show it to your parents and convince them to change.
Step 5. Let the grass create some more
Herbicides are used primarily to kill unwanted weeds. What do you prefer? A garden with some dandelions or a garden covered in chemicals? Point this out to your parents and ask them to weed out instead of using herbicides, although the garden may lose its artificial appearance instead.
Step 6. Instead of spraying, weed
In the garden or flower beds, some people spray herbicide to kill weeds. Since the soil is softer in these areas, there is no need to spray. Go out in the garden with gardening gloves, a hoe, and a gardening shovel and spend a few hours on the weekend removing them with your hands. Besides being much better than using herbicides, it is a good way to spend time outdoors with your family.
Step 7. Introduce beneficial insects
Just as there are insects that ruin your garden or orchard, there are others that feed on them. You can buy them in many garden stores. Trust nature and use less pesticides.
Don't kill the beneficial insects you find. In many cases your garden already has some insects. Garden spiders, for example, feed on all kinds of pests and are totally harmless to your plants. When you find these insects, let them live and let them help you
Method 3 of 3: Projects to undertake with your family, your friends or at school
Step 1. Clean a plaza
Get together with other friends, or find a day when you can go with your family to a nearby plaza. Bring a few garbage bags and gardening gloves. Advance along the trails picking up the garbage that you find in your path. In a few hours the square will be impeccable!
- If you see trash off the trail, don't hesitate: pick it up. If it is difficult to reach, find a stick to bring it closer to you.
- This plan may not seem like much fun to read, but if you do, you will see that it is a wonderful experience. In fact, you might enjoy them so much that they start doing it once or twice a year.
Step 2. Join a bigger movement
If you consult your teachers or listen to the news, you will surely discover that there are other groups of people doing similar things in other areas. Most of the time, the volunteers of these projects welcome everyone who wants to collaborate. Perhaps it is cleaning a beach, a campsite, or a mountain trail. In addition, to the contribution will be added the excitement of being part of a larger movement.
Step 3. Join other volunteer groups
Whether you are interested in planting trees, cleaning trails or simply talking with others about the care we can take to protect the environment, there are probably other people in your area as interested in the same as you. Get in touch with them and ask how you can help them. If a group doesn't exist yet, why don't you take on the challenge of creating one? You are never too young to do it if you put your mind to it.
- If you have other friends as interested as you, sign a presentation to make to the principal. Seeing that there are many people sharing the same thought, it will be easier for the director to accept your request.
- A program that many schools could run but few do is compost. Composting allows you to take advantage of organic waste to transform it into compost. With enough community engagement, a compost project at your school can be a success, so start spreading the word to your friends and having them discuss it with their parents.
- Don't forget to reward yourself for your effort. Enjoy what you've helped protect - get outside or enjoy nature whenever you can. As long as you respect and take care of the natural world, it will always be at your disposal.
- This guide is only an introduction. Ask other people or do some research on the internet what other things you can do to help keep the world healthy.