Teaching Your Kids To Care For The Environment

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Climate change and the destruction of biodiversity continues to be a pressing societal issue. We must equip our children with the right skills and attitudes that they’ll need to care for the earth. To help your kids take on these values, there are plenty of ways you can encourage green-living using simple everyday activities.

 

Conserve and recycle

 

Be sure to set a good example at home, by conserving water and recycling everything possible. Teach your kids to turn off the tap when they brush their teeth, and chat to them about the reasons why we recycle. Show them the recycling and food waste boxes, teach them which materials go in each one. As much as possible, make recycling into a fun game! If your children love video games, there’s a great recycling themed app by Baby Bus called ‘Waste Sorting’.

 

Up cycling crafts

 

As part of your recycling process, put aside a few of your bottles and cardboard items and then plan some art and craft days. Explain to your kids that you are going to use old items to make brand new things. There are plenty of toys you can create using old bottles; from play jet packs to fairytale castles. There’s plenty you can do with some scissors glue and a little paint. You could also turn old tins into some attractive pencil holders with some old wrapping paper and tape to decorate. Crafting is a great hobby for kids to give them a break from the technological world.

 

Compost together

 

Teaching your kids about composting is an excellent plan to help them learn about our natural world. Explain to them the process of composting, and let them help you collect suitable items to use. If your kids like worms, why not create a worm composting bin using some red wiggler worms? You can use your compost to grow some tasty vegetables in your garden and go even greener!

 

Vegetable garden

 

Growing your own food is just about the most sustainable way to live, and it’s a good idea to teach kids this skill from a young age. Tell your children you’ll need to plant the seeds in a sunny spot and that you’ll need to space out the seeds. Failing to space out seeds can mean overcrowding and make it difficult for the different vegetables to grow. Provide your children with their own special watering cans so they can help you to water the plants and watch them grow.

 

Green gifts

 

When you are buying gifts for your children, choose green-gifts where you can. Doing so will help you to set the right example. Instead of always choosing material items, opt for experiences instead. Trips to the forest or the beach, the museum or the theater can serve as wonderful gifts for children. (We all know that many toys have a short life span, and so contribute to waste fairly quickly)!

 

Lastly, get yourself and your kids some bikes and use this mode of transport as much as you can. Biking is great exercise, allowing you to explore the outdoors but most importantly, biking reduces your carbon footprint. For more ideas on teaching your kids good values checkout Karrol’s Korner.

 

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Money Matters: How To Make 2020 The Year Of Reduced Waste

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The start of a new decade is the perfect opportunity to reevaluate your lifestyle and adopt the changes needed to become a better person. Right now, the need to reduce our physical waste in a bid to save the planet is more prominent than ever. But what about saving your finances?

 

Living costs rise at a far faster rate than salaries. This is why your New Year’s Resolution should revolve on the concept of making your money work harder. Here are 15 ways to turn your 2020 vision into a reality.

 

#1. Quit Bad Habits

 

Let’s face it; quitting bad habits will always appear on the NYR lists. While you’ve previously given up within a few weeks, focusing on the financial elements could transform things for the better. Quitting cigarettes will save the average 20-a-day $50 per week. You could save half of the money while using the other half as a weekly reward for staying on track. It’s great news for the body, mind, and bank balance. This new approach will ensure that 2020 is the year you succeed.

 

#2. Analyze All Purchases

 

There’s nothing wrong with impulse buys that will actively enhance your life. However, wasting money on products that you will not use is a huge problem. It’s easy to be won over by fancy marketing gimmicks, but buying the latest tech gadget for the sake of joining the herd is often a bad move. Where possible, sleep on the decision. If you aren’t that fussed about having not bought the item when you wake up, it probably isn’t needed. You should see a decline in regrettable choices.

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#3. Lose The Need For Ownership

 

In addition to avoiding unnecessary purchases, 2020 can be the year where you embrace a healthier mindset. While society may suggest that you need to own everything, you don’t. There are many situations in which leasing a car may be better than buying one. Meanwhile, renting an outfit for an vent is often a smarter decision than wearing it once and letting it sit in the wardrobe collecting dust. The money saved by hiring goods can allow you to spend more money elsewhere.

 

#4. Trim The Fat On Bills

 

Overspending on monthly services is another very common problem. Here is a guide to cutting cellphone costs that can save hundreds of dollars each year. Similarly, energy bills, home insurance, and broadband packages can be trimmed down. Tailoring the package to your needs rather than what the company tries to sell you can make a big difference to monthly outgoings. Better still, you won’t see any difference to your daily life as the features you cut out aren’t being used anyway.

 

#5. Shop Around

 

We can all appreciate the benefits of browsing the market for a better deal. The introduction of price comparison sites made a huge impact on major purchases. However, you can now add tools to your browser that automatically search for vouchers and discounts on all purchases. Even if you save a few dollars during each online shopping session, the savings soon add up. They can be used to buy clothes, groceries, and gifts for loved ones during the festive season. The possibilities are endless.

 

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#6. Consider ‘Non-New’ Items

 

It seems madness to spend twice the price on an item that you could get cheaper simply because it has been used. There are plenty of items that you’ll want to buy brand new. Still, charity shops can be a great place to pick up furniture, clothing accessories, books, and more. Perhaps more tellingly, you can save thousands on kitchen remodels and big tasks by buying the ex-display models or end of the line stock. Not having the latest season’s trend isn’t a big issue unless you make it one.

 

#7. Change Work Habits

 

Your career is the primary source of revenue in your life. However, it can be a source of huge expense too. There are many ways to cut the costs. Working from home, even or one day per week can have a truly positive influence. Meanwhile, trading the morning trip to Starbuck for a homemade coffee could save over $1,000 per year. Those simple changes can actively aid your physical and mental health, as well as your career. Still, it’s the financial savings that stand out.

 

#8. Stop Trashing Perfectly Good Products

 

Most people are guilty of hoarding furniture, electronics, and collectibles. In most cases, they’ll eventually be thrown out during a clean spring. However, one person’s trash is another’s treasure. Thanks to local online selling platforms, the opportunity to generate money from old goods has never been easier. This additionally serves as the perfect way to declutter your life at the start of a new decade. The fact it actually reduces waste pollution by recycling old items is merely a bonus.

 

#9. Ensure That Assets Sell At Their Full Potential

 

When selling the small household goods, any cash injection is a step in the right direction. However, valuable assets need to sell at the right price. Preparing the home for a quick and agreeable sale is vital for anyone hoping to relocate in 2020 or beyond. Meanwhile, expensive antiques should be independently valued. After all, you do not want to become one of those people that sells a vase for $50 at a garage sale only to see it sell for $1,000 in three months time.

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#10. Hire An Accountant

 

The idea of paying an expert to handle your taxes and other financial obligations may seem counterproductive. On the contrary, though, a personal tax accountant can save you money in the long run. Whether it’s handling small business accounts or individual taxes, their advanced knowledge will serve you well. Besides, time is money, and you can use the extra time to earn more money. When added to the emotional reassurance of making the right moves, success is assured.

 

#11. Seek Entitlements

 

You work hard, and put money into the system. As such, you should feel no guilt about seeking the financial support that you are entitled to. Whether you’re a parent, a worker in the public sector, or have a disability doesn’t matter. Even an extra few hundred dollars per year, through credits or discounts, can seriously enhance your life. Life can get tough from time to time, but helping hands are often available. Take the support that is actually designed for you, and big results will show.

 

#12. Improve The Home’s Energy Efficiency

 

If you can reduce financial waste while also reducing waste pollution, that’s perfect. This guide to creating a greener home will allow you to master both. The investments into better lighting and water efficiency will reduce monthly bills. Meanwhile, solar panels and other eco-friendly upgrades often show a positive ROI. The financial value of your property and monthly cash flow will each see positive outcomes. Best of all, the rewards will continue throughout 2020 and beyond.

 

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#13. Share Facilities

 

The idea of combining financial savings with reduced energy waste needn’t be limited to the home. Carpools are a particularly smart move to save money and resources. Meanwhile, if you have a good relationship with the neighbors, it may be possible to share items like the lawnmower. It seems a little pointless to buy and store products separately if you can half the costs and efforts. Of course, it’s not an option that’s open to all homeowners or workers. Still, it’s worth investigating.

 

#14. Move Bank Accounts

 

If you are currently losing money to interest rates on credit cards, switching to new banks can work wonders. They are fighting for your custom and will often offer 0% on transfers as well as a few months of zero interest. This gives you a chance to reduce the debt without suffering from high interest rates. In turn, this can support your bid to create a better financial situation. After all, your overall debts will shrink during that period of breathing space.

 

#15. Repair Things

 

How often do you trash a top because the zip broke, or replace furniture because it suffered minor damage? Get into the habit of repairing and upcycling items, and you’ll save vast sums of money over the course of a year. You can turn crates into garden furniture, save old garments, and breathe new life into unloved items. It’s a great way to save time and money while also providing a sense of satisfaction. When dealing with clothes, it’s an ideal way to gain a fresh and unique appearance too.

 

The Final Word

 

We can all benefit from reducing our financial waste, and 2020 is the year to make it happen. While it’s true that the first few weeks may seem difficult, your efforts will soon be rewarded. Once you see how much of an impact your efforts can bring, the incentive to stay on track will be huge.

 

Last but not least, you must remember that a setback along the way needn’t stop you from achieving the end goals. This is a lifelong transformation rather than a quick fix. Do not forget it.

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Friends Of The Earth (And You): Persuading Loved Ones To Recycle

When you have got on board with the need to recycle, become more energy efficient and live more sustainably, you can quickly become a total convert. Not only are you helping out the planet, but you’ll usually find that you’re able to live well for less money thanks to your efforts.

 

When we change our lives in a positive way, it’s a natural next step to want to share what we have discovered with our nearest and dearest. It can also be tough from your new-convert stance to see someone throwing anything into general rubbish and not bothering to separate their recycling.

 

So you make the decision to tackle this head on: you’re going to be the one to convert them to a brand new way of thinking. While that’s all well and good, there is the tricky subject of how you go about it. Go in too hard and too fast and they’ll feel like they’re being lectured; but if you’re too softly-softly about it, then they might not get the message.

 

You need a strategy. Here are a few ideas to get you started on convincing others of the benefit of recycling and sustainable living.

 

Offer To Help Them

 

The best way to offer to help is to do it in a way that just seems like you’re being a good friend. Given that few people live in highly-organised homes, the person in question might have a junk room or attic that is in need of some attention. Here is the best place to begin; offer to help them go through it. Say you have developed a keen interest in recycling, and you’d be happy to see what items they might be able to get rid of or potentially find another use for.

 

If they agree – which most will, who turns down free help on their house?! – then it becomes a learning experience. As you sift through the trash and uncover the broken appliances they forgot to get rid of, you can explain to them how they might go about dealing with these items in the future. When you have a good pile separated into trash and recyclable, you can arrange a same-day rubbish removal so that your friend can see that this process can be as efficient as just throwing things out without further thought. Hopefully, this will set them on the road to taking the mantle on for themselves.

 

Enthuse About Your Habits

 

Is the above method too direct for you? Then you might need something more subtle. Many of us pick up our ideas and habits from the people around us, especially if they talk positively about them. So it becomes your mission to endlessly enthuse about how much you’re enjoying recycling, how it makes you feel good, how it’s nowhere near as much effort as you initially expected it to be.

 

The problem with subtle is that you have to rely on them to pick it up and run with the idea. If it’s been a few weeks and you’re yet to see any evidence of this happening, then there’s nothing wrong with nudging them in the right direction. Finish your latest “I love recycling” speech with an additional: “have you ever thought about trying it?”

 

If that doesn’t get them thinking, then nothing but direct, blunt statements will! It’s your final option, but sometimes, you might just need to be straightforward and ask them to make more of an effort. Hopefully, by deploying the above tactics, it won’t come to that.

 

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