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My daughter just turned 2 years old and her ability to help out around the house is somewhat limited. But even though she can't vacuum or do the laundry (yet!), she certainly can learn the importance of sharing household responsibilities. When dealing with toddlers, it's all about positive reinforcement. So when she wipes off the table, I applaud. When she picks up her toys, I cheer. When she tries to use the broom on the kitchen floor, I offer encouragement. Just recently, I've been working with her on carrying her plate to the kitchen sink after dinner (we're having some successes). It's important our children understand that as members of our family, they share the responsibility for keeping our house neat and clean. The same goes for teaching our children about Protecting Planet Home. So why not incorporate chores that foster your family's environmental values into your child's daily routine? This will help your children learn lessons about responsibility and green habits at an early age. Here are three green chores that even small children can do:
  • The Bagger: This child is responsible for folding up or stowing reusable bags emptied after a shopping trip.
  • Recycling Royalty: Crown one of your children the leader of Recycling. Younger children can help sort materials for recycling, and older ones can take the bins to the curb if you have curbside recycling or collect items for drop off at a recycling center.
  • The Sponger: Teamed with an adult, let your child use a sponge to clean up after meals or food preparation. Or let the child wipe down the bathroom sink.

As parents, this is a way to practice what we preach and show our kids just how critical it is to protect our planet -- a lesson that will have an impact for generations to come. Tell us what you do in your Planet Home! photo: Jim Champion