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Our Blog: April 20, 2013

6 Simple Ways to Form a Green Family Routine

Ways to create a healthy green routineSave the planet with the help of your kids.

Setting a routine is the best way to form healthy, green habits – and it’s never too late to learn a new routine, especially when it comes to teaching your family to become more environmentally responsible.

Here are some simple ways we’ve become greener as a family with the help of my kids:

1. Use eco-friendly bags instead of wasteful plastic – My kids are now in charge of bringing the bags into the grocery store. If I ever get to go by myself (I admit – it’s a rare and special occasion), I have moved my eco-chic bags from my trunk to my passenger-seat floor.

2. Turn off the light when you leave the room – As I walk out of a room, I clearly hear my husband’s voice in my head, saying, “Laura, are you forgetting something?” Now we all do it to each other. I silently chuckle to myself now when I overhear my kids from another room reminding each other, “Didn’t you forget something?”

3. Shut off the water when you’re brushing your teeth – “Let’s save some water for the fishies in the ocean,” I explain to my kids while we shut off the water during toothbrushing. When my two-year-old unplugs the drain after he’s done with his tub-time, he watches the water disappear and says, “Bye-bye, water. Go see the fishies.”

4. Save paper: Teach file/save instead of file/print –Teach your child the difference between printing versus saving files. Let your child know you want to save her work forever – so you’re setting up a new folder where she can save all her masterpieces. Let her type her name into the title of the new folder.

5. Go paperless: Unplug the printer – When kids have the option to print, they tend to hit the printer icon over and over and over again, sucking all your ink along with it. So stop the temptation and go to the source: Unplug your printer. To avoid a tech tantrum, be sure to teach file/save first.

6. Turn off the technology after dinner–Save energy by turning off the power to your television and other technology devices. Go outdoors together and go for a hike or play baseball. If you choose a time of day to do it, such as after dinner, it can become a wonderful family routine.

Now it’s time to do your part in showing how environmentally responsible you are and share this article – without printing, of course.

In what ways have you and your family gone green? How have you included your kids in the process? Share your tips!


About the Author

Laura St. John

Laura St. John is a busy mom of three and an expert in managing technology's use with young children. She is the co-creator of the Discovery Kids Puterbugs technology program. You can follow Miss Laura's interactive tips and advice for parents on Facebook at To learn more of our partnership with Discovery Kids Puterbugs, we encourage you to talk to your school's Director or visit