by Megan Cohen
On World's Greenest Homes, Robin and her 7-year old daughter Devon have a home built for spending quality time together. They swap manicures in their solar-heated spa, and hang out in a multi-use space that's both a playroom and a home office. Get your own green family fun going by sharing some eco-activities with your kids.
- For a fun way to introduce recycling to the juniors in your clan, try making your own toys out of trash that would normally end up in the landfill. With basic skills, you and your crew can whip up a cool ball game, or a posse of one-of-a-kind soft dolls from old clothes.
- Spend a day without electricity. Instead of the usual television, computers, video games, and other electronic devices, switch everything off and play like old-time pioneers 'til bedtime. Read books out loud by candlelight (soy candles, if you can get 'em!), sing songs and tell stories, or even break out some board games. You'll shrink your energy usage, which is great for the planet, and you'll end up finding new ways to make each other smile instead of relying on the usual entertainment standbys.
- Have a yard sale. Passing things on instead of throwing them out is green to the max, and if the whole family gets into the act, a tag sale can be more happiness than hassle. Enjoy making and posting signs around the neighborhood together the day before, then put the kids in charge of specific tasks during the sale, like keeping all the goods laid out in interesting arrangements to get shoppers' attention. At the end of the day, put the cash towards something really special, like an eco-friendly vacation, or just splurge on a bunch of rounds of organic ice cream!
- Start a movement to green your kids' school. The youngsters can get hands-on by passing petitions around their classrooms, holding organic bake sales to help fundraise for eco-upgrades to the playground and facilities, and brainstorming creative new ways to encourage classmates and teachers to recycle and conserve. A project like this, which mixes fun together with a bit of hard work, is the kind of big green action that can have a major impact for the planet, and making it happen as a family is an experience your kids will remember for a long time to come.