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Simple solutions to save the planet

Encourage children to care for the environment with these five fun suggestions

Posted: 19 July 2010

Do the ice cube experiment. A good way to illustrate why it’s important to prevent the ice sheets from melting is to place some ice cubes in a glass of water and watch what happens. Over the next few minutes, the ice will start to melt. But does the water level rise in the glass? No. It doesn’t. Now think of all those icebergs in the ocean. Water levels will not rise around the world if they all melt due to warming temperatures. But what happens if you put another ice cube in the glass of water. The water will spill over the edge of the glass. This demonstrates what will happen to the world’s oceans if water that is currently frozen as ice on landmasses such as Antarctica begins to melt.

Plant a tree. It could be an apple tree, an oak, or just some willows to make a new hedge, but planting is one of the most important things that you can do in your garden.Trees provide shelter and food for animals, absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and improve the soil underneath them.

Make green gifts. We all love giving and receiving presents, but we often overdo it. Try to think of ways to reduce waste at special times of the year, such as Christmas. Can you make your own cards? What about using saved wrapping paper from last year to wrap gifts? And rather than giving someone some more “stuff” as a present, what about giving them an experience or memory–based present instead, such as a collection of favourite photographs from the past year?

Start a Walking Bus A walking Bus – where a group of children walk to school with one or two adults – is an excellent way to get a bit of exercise before school, save fuel and also save the environment. A triple whammy! If a Walking Bus is not possible, then start up a lift-share scheme. Instead of each pupil coming to school in their own car, parents can take it in turns to deliver children to school. This makes parents’ lives easier, reduces school-gate traffic and means you get to know your children’s fellow school pupils and parents as well.

Hang it up Children suffer messy-room syndrome all over the world, but this is different. This refers to drying clothes on a washing line, outdoors or indoors. Not only does this save on the energy being used for tumble drying, it’s also a great pocket money chore for children.

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