Thanks to Maya Rogers for this guest post.  One person can make an impact by reducing their carbon footprint, but an even larger impact is made when we share this with friends, family members, and neighbors. One of the most important generations to teach about using less and conserving more is our children. It is important to teach our children conserving habits while they are young so they become lifelong habits that can continue to help the world flourish.  Here are 5 easy practices that you can teach your children in order to conserve more as a family.
1.  Recycle
Recycling is an important part of reducing a family’s carbon footprint. Teaching your kids about recycling can start them early on a lifetime habit that will help keep usable items out of landfills. Helping them understand which types of materials should go in the bin is also important. Setting up a station at home can be as easy as keeping a separate garbage can for recyclables. This can also be great for teaching kids responsibility by adding it to their chore chart, but find a way to make it exciting and fun so they want to take part in helping recycle.

2. Turn Lights and Electronics off
When a child is old enough to turn lights on and off, teach them why it is important to turn them off when no one is using them. In addition, teach them to turn off and unplug electronics when they aren’t being used because these can also use electricity simply from being plugged in. Make sure that you explain it in a way that children can comprehend and care about. Because children don’t think in terms of cost or understand the value of money, don’t explain it to them that it saves you money. Instead, teach them about the ecosystem and how it helps make the planet healthier.
3. Conserve Water
When your kids learn to brush their teeth, you can start teaching them about water conversation by simply turning the water off while they’re brushing. If your kids are older, it’s not too late to educate them on this. Faucets waste 2-3 gallons of water per minute if left on. In addition, teach your children the 7-10 minute shower rule. By reducing running faucets and taking shorter showers it is incredible how much water you will save from wasting annually.
4. Collect Rain Water

Collecting rain water in barrels is great for things such as watering plants, washing the car, etc. Get your kids on board by teaching them the importance of collecting rain water. This can even be turned into a craft where your kids get to decorate their water container that is placed in the yard and get to use it to water their plants in the garden.

5. Start a Self-Sustainable Garden

Having fresh produce right outside your back door is a great convenience and great for the environment. If you don’t have the option to grow vegetables or fruit from home you should choose to purchase food locally. Our food sometimes travels over 1,500 miles before actually making it to our plate. This burns tons of fossil fuels and depletes the ozone system. Teach your children how to have fun waiting and making progress of the crops growth, or allow them to go with you to the local farmers market. The kids will love to be involved helping pick out produce. Encourage them to ask the local farmers questions to get more interested about where the food they eat is coming from

Children whose parents teach them about conservation can become the leaders of the next generation’s conservation movement. When environmental topics come up at school, they can teach other kids what they have learned at home, and how they are currently helping to conserve precious natural resources. As adults, they will have a lifetime of experience with ecological concerns. They will also have good habits ingrained that will help make a difference throughout life. Get your kids started on an eco-friendly path today, and teach your little conservationists how they can make a difference now.

Author Bio: Maya Rodgers is a pet owner, animal lover, and small-time environmental activist who always keeps her ears open for ways to green herself and her family. Always having an interest in bugs, she enjoys working for Terminix in combating families’ pesky pets and returning the comfort to their homes.