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Kid-Friendly Green Practices to Protect Wildlife written by Ryan Jones, Outreach Associate of www.modernize.com

If your kids can’t get enough of animals, they may be interested to learn how green living can help save their favorite critters. With attention-grabbing books, discovery shows, and even video games boosting kids’ interest in wildlife, it’s never been a better time to use these teachable moments to incorporate green practices at home. At Modernize, we know that saving the world starts with all of us individually, so here’s how your whole family can get started.

Recycling protects our wildlife

The First Step

The easiest green practice to implement at home is recycling. You’ve heard the same “Reduce, reuse, recycle” slogan for years, but it’s more important now than ever. As each year passes, our modern society stamps a larger carbon footprint, uses even more natural resources, and disposes of too much waste. The urgency is certainly there, but what will be your kiddo’s motivation?

When it comes to protecting wildlife, recycling is a powerful tool. It’s bad enough that waste fills large landfills, but waste pollution is especially harmful to animals. Think of all the news articles you read about fish and turtles trapped in plastic. Envision Styrofoam cups and plastic floating through the ocean. The truth is, waste is just as harmful to our favorite critters as it is to us. You can help prevent the destruction of natural habitats by incorporating recycling into your home life.

It’s easy to get started, too. Set up a recycling bin in your home. You can either use separate bins for paper, plastic, and aluminum, or use one bin. It depends on your waste pickup service’s policies if you’re a homeowner. Most neighborhoods will provide a recycling bin. Otherwise, you can take your recycled goods to a disposal center. Sometimes, you can even get some cash back. Cha-ching!

Make the process fun by creating incentives for your child to recycle. If they love animals, reward their green practices by taking them to the zoo, spending the day at a dog park, or purchasing a new book or movie about wildlife. Get creative and make it fun!

You can create a habitat for the wildlife in your backyard

At-Home Best Practices

If you want a hands-on approach to protecting wildlife, set up some natural habitats in your backyard. You can install a bird feeder and stock it with food, as well as a bird bath. Other options include bee boxes, bug houses, and of course, natural gardens. By providing for these animals and plants yourself, you’ll boost the safety of these animals and your child’s curiosity simultaneously. However, beware if you live in an area where coyotes are seen on a daily basis as well as other types of wild animals. Never put food out that attracts them because they need to hunt and not rely on humans supplying them with food. Families that have small cats and dogs should never encourage such behavior because a coyote could be attracted to their home, see a small pet, and capture it for their meal.

In addition to taking matters into your own hands, be sure to purchase products that are friendly to wildlife. Organic food is a great place to start. You can plant your own organic vegetable garden, or set up herb and spice planters in your kitchen. Shop at local farmer’s markets or the organic produce aisles at your grocery store. When it comes to furniture, go for reclaimed wood or ethically sourced materials. Even fabric and clothing can be eco-friendly. Encourage your child to embrace these green products by explaining how each item benefits their favorite animal.

When treating your yard, be sure to avoid herbicides and pesticides, which pose a huge threat to wildlife. You’ll find these harmful solutions used commonly in agriculture to protect crops, but this practice is responsible for killing wildlife with toxic chemicals. From insects to small animals and birds, you can save all kinds of critters by eliminating this toxic pollutant.

The key to boosting your child’s interest in green practices is to explain how these simple steps can protect their favorite animals. Reward them with activities they love best, and enjoy this important bonding opportunity!

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