Activities to Teach Children About Going Green

Children helping their grandmother recycle old bottles.
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Introduce children to the importance of living a green lifestyle at a young age. "Living green" refers to being environmentally conscious, participating in green habits such as recycling and reducing your carbon footprint.

1 Class Compost Bin

Composting keeps waste out of landfills, is a way to nourish plants and is easy to do with kids of all ages. In the spring, place a compost bin in a convenient location in the school yard, ensuring that it is on soil or grass and not concrete. Fill the bin with waste such as vegetable and fruit peels, used pet bedding, leaves and grass clippings. Add a layer of soil on top and cover it. Over the next few months, add waste and stir the mixture every once in a while. By the fall, you should have usable compost for a school garden or for children to take home.

2 Garbage Dump Pizza

This activity teaches children about landfills and is beneficial for second- to fourth-graders. You will need 16 inch-wide cardboard circles, magazines, pencils, rulers, scissors, glue and assorted garbage. Have students divide their circle into sections, equivalent to the percentage each type of garbage takes up in landfills, and label accordingly. For example, food takes up 12 percent, while paper takes up 34 percent. Fill each segment with the appropriate type of garbage. For messy or dangerous items such as food and glass, use magazine clippings instead of the real thing.

3 Make Your Own Bag

Encourage students of all ages to use reusable bags as opposed to plastic ones by having them decorate their own bags. Gather plain canvas bags, pencils, fabric paint, fabric markers and paintbrushes. Have children decorate with their favorite colors or with inspiring messages such as "Go green!" or "I love my planet!" Explain to students that plastic makes up 12 percent of the world's landfills and can take up to 700 years to decompose.

Based in Gatineau, Canada, Kat Walcott has been writing entertainment and informative articles since 2008. Her work has appeared in major publications including Her Campus, Equals6 and Uppercase. She holds an honors diploma in social science from Heritage College and is currently majoring in communication studies and minoring in sexuality studies.