I learned it by watching you, Mom! Set a green example.



When my cousin was 11 years old, he came home from school full of eco spirit. He asked his mom why they didn't recycle. He lectured his younger siblings about leaving too many lights on. He told his dad they needed top make a compost heap for their garden. A week later he was back to leaving all the lights on, throwing his cans in the trash, and the compost heap was abandoned. What went wrong? Well, the kid is 11 and needed positive reinforcement.

Children are learning all about the inconvenient truths of global climate change in school and want to implement greener behaviors at home, but they're just kids and they can't sustain a lifestyle change without parental guidance. I'm not suggesting we indulge every whim children have after coming home from school, but what's the harm in encouraging environmental practices and making it a family project?

How can you help your children stay on the green path? Here are some websites that engage children specifically about the importance of staying green.

http://www.teensturninggreen.org: Teens Turning Green is a national coalition of teens educating peers and community members about safe, healthy and green lifestyle choices. They discuss green cosmetics, ways to get involved with events and how to organize a green prom.

www.globalyounggreens.org: A look at how kids all over the world are greening up their lives.

http://www.epa.gov/students/: This Environmental Protection Agency site keeps things simple, but manages to include information on a wide range of environmental issues. If you're serious about helping the environment, check out the section on environmental careers. Or, click on "Fun Activities" to play environmental games.

Remember, children learn by example. Let's make sure we are setting a good one.