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Measure the Difference You Are Making

We’ve all made a number of changes in our daily lives to lessen our impact on the environment., but are we sure it’s making a difference?

Here are couple a fun ways to get your kids involved and measure it! (And great for the family that likes a little competition!)

Recycle that Trash Put Your Trash on a Diet

Weigh your trash and waste. Try this experiment with your kids: weigh on a bathroom scale every bag of garbage you create before you take it out. Do it for a whole week, and multiply that total by 52 to get a rough estimate of how much waste you produce in a year. Then, as a group, make a goal of cutting your waste production by a pound a week.

Where can you cut back to make that happen? Change your buying habits or start composting organic waste. Make a plan and record your results for a week. Did your trash slim down by a pound?

If not, figure out what else you can do. Fifty two pounds a year is a real difference!

Write an Energy Contract with Your Kids.

Together with your children, think of three things each of you can do to conserve energy during a two-week period. Make them three things you don’t already do – or don’t do well enough – and then write a contract promising to do these three things.

They don’t have to be huge things. Use the ideas in this magazine: walk or bike to school; turn off all electronics, like computers, televisions, stereos and video games, when you’re through using them; take shorter showers.

If you want, build a reward into the contract for sticking with it for the two weeks, such as a family pizza night.

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