As a mom, I feel like one of my jobs is to teach my kids to give back to others. I particularly like it when I can find service projects that are good for the planet. It’s always nice to accomplish two things with one activity, right? As we approach the holidays, we need to teach our children (as well as friends and family members) that giving back is vital. To our souls, our planet, and society as a whole.
Service Projects that are Good for the Planet
Making sure that kids are fed, clothed and educated can be time consuming. However, we cannot overlook the concept of teaching them to give back to the community. If you are wondering what the best service projects for kids might be, I thought I would share a few ideas. I will include resources when I can and links to a few of the past projects I have worked on with my own children. If you want more ideas, check out my post about environmental projects for kids that they will actually enjoy.
Plant a Butterfly Garden:
Does your school have a garden area or a wild space that needs some attention? Consider collecting donations or hosting a fund raiser to plant a butterfly garden. Pollinators need all the help we can give them and most kids love digging in the dirt. Once you have researched and purchased the plants, have the kids weed, plant and water regularly to keep the garden healthy. Check out my post about planting a butterfly garden before you get started.
Sneaker Recycling Drive:
One thing that kids go through a lot of is sneakers! Host a sneaker recycling drive and get those old sneakers a new life. Check out Soles for Souls or the Nike Reuse a Shoe campaign to find out where to take your sneaker donations. These organizations will either donate usable shoes to under developed countries or shred them to make playground surfaces.
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River cleanup projects:
One of the best ways to get kids to appreciate nature is to get them out in it on a regular basis. Schools are usually part of a tight knit community. That community will benefit from a cleaner environment if kids get involved in a River Cleanup project. Check out AmericanRivers.org for more information about the National River Cleanup project. Cleaning up your local rivers is a great way to keep water clean and give back to your local community.
Host a school wide garage sale:
Garage sales are a great way to find new homes for old items that may otherwise end up in the trash. Request that school families bring their donations to the school so that the students can sell them to earn money for supplies, field trips, library books, etc. The older students can even work the garage sale with adult volunteers. At the end of the day, anything left that has not sold can be donated to good will.
More Green School Tips:
- Eco Friendly School Ideas for Greener Classrooms and Smaller Footprints
- Eco Friendly School Supplies and Tips for a Greener School Year
- Easy Green Living Tips for College Students
Old Cell Phone collection:
Cell phones get upgraded on a regular basis and the old ones often get tossed in the drawer, never to be seen again. Old cell phones can be donated to a number of organizations to help the poor, elderly, victims of domestic abuse, or many other struggling individuals. By collecting and donating old cell phones, you keep them out of landfills while also providing a phone to someone who really needs it but may not be able to afford it. Check out my recycling resources post for ideas on how to recycle old cell phones.
Collect Used Holiday Cards:
Card giving is popular year round but those beautiful cards usually end up in the trash or recycling bin. Get your child’s school, scout group or other organization involved in collecting used greeting cards. Teach them how to turn greeting cards into gift tags with just some scissors, glue, and construction paper. Then, you can sell them or give them away to the community.
Do you have any other eco friendly service projects to share?
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.