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Conservation and Kids Go Hand in Hand


Mom-to-Mom tips on how to nurture nature in your little ones

When parents explain to children the reasons why they want to conserve water, protect habitats, or keep bees healthy they are right there with them. Parents have their attention 100 percent. Kids don’t calculate costs, or party affiliation, or what their friends might think. Kids are natural conservationists.

For those looking for more ways to nurture nature in their children, Terra Wellington, author of “The Mom’s Guide to Growing Your Family Green: Saving the Earth Begins at Home” (St. Martin’s Press), shares these family friendly ideas:

- Make a Date: Utilize calendar events at your local science center, arboretum, zoo, aquarium, or nature center. These special presentations, kid camps, classes, and volunteer opportunities nearly always focus on hopeful conservation.

- Grow with a Purpose: Plant a garden this year with a lifecycle and habitat in mind. For lifecycle growing, have your kids help you start and maintain a compost (which in itself is fascinating science at work!) that prepares and feeds your garden. All organic, of course!

- Bee Happy: Consider getting into beekeeping. It’s one of the fastest growing hobbies right now, especially with the dying bee populations – likely due to industrial pesticide and herbicide use. Enjoy delicious honey as a reward. Check with your local municipality for any ordinances or permits.

- Entertain for Good: Turn to nature-soaked television, film, and magazines. Fun examples include the Ranger Rick Magazine from the National Wildlife Federation, Disneynature films like “Earth” and “Oceans,” and the captivating Discovery Channel series “Life” narrated by Oprah Winfrey which is now available on DVD or through a subscription service like Netflix.

- Put on Your Flip-Flops: Turn a beachside vacation into an experience by participating in a local beach cleanup day. The Surfrider Foundation is a great resource. Your kids will spend two inspirational hours helping nature – and they’ll think twice about where trash goes after that!

- Pump Up the Tires: Dust off your bikes and peddle to the local store or explore bike paths to make conserving energy fun. You will be surprised how much kids enjoy biking and the diversity you will find outside your car window. Google Maps has a bicycle path layer to find safer bike routes in your area.



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