Small Changes, Big Impact

Dire warnings about the Great Barrier Reef and the dramatic impact of extreme drought resulting from global warming and climate change, can leave us feeling like there is little we can do to reverse the trend. After all, aren’t we at the point where a significant intervention is imminent?

Sure, the need for a substantial and dramatic change to the way we treat our environment is needed worldwide. But, that doesn’t mean that small changes made at home are unimportant or ineffective. After all, doesn’t BIG change come when several small alterations are adopted to create that larger difference?

Families can do a lot within their homes to protect our environment. Luckily, we have Earth Day to remind us to do just that. Even luckier, there are many ideas and resources available to get families started.

Kid Crunch Trail Mix
Packaging snacks in your own containers instead of buying pre-packaged snacks can help reduce waste.

Keep the recycling bins front and center.

Separating paper, collapsing cardboard and turning containers to search for the recycle symbol are the small habits that go far to create children who automatically recycle. Keep a pail in the kitchen and another in the office to encourage these practices for the whole family.

Turn off water.

Brushing teeth with the water off, filling a bowl with water to wash the dishes, picking up the pace in the shower, and giving the sprinkler a break are the ways we help conserve water. Teach kids the importance of this and make it part of their daily habits.

Shut off the lights, turn off the computer and unplug the charger.

Help your family get into the habit of turning off lights and unplugging chargers and other devices to save energy (and reduce your bill!)

Plant some vegetables.

It’s important to teach kids where vegetables come from as well as how important it is to have healthy soil and adequate water to make plants flourish. Start simple and begin with vegetables they will be excited to eat or herbs that will help you make delicious dishes for your family.

Reduce food waste.

Get into the habit of serving less and allowing family members to return for more if they like rather than serving too much and likely wasting it. Safely store and use leftovers to prevent food from expiring in the fridge too.


You have committed to growing some vegetables in a garden or an array of pots. Help that garden grow with nutrient rich soil from your own composted scraps, coffee grinds and more. Today, many different containers exist to make composting easy and simple..

Put your family to work with fun titles.

Recycling Chief: empty bins and ensure all that can be recycled is.

Electricity Marshal: make sure all unneeded lights are off and that chargers are unplugged.

Compost Captain: in charge of all things “composting” and getting that material to the compost bin.

Master Gardener: monitor the garden and water when needed; pick ripe vegetables and herbs.

Helpful links:

A Student’s Guide to Climate Change

TimeForKids.Com: A Look at Earth Day by the Numbers

EPA: What You Can Do At Home Our Planet and Environment Climate Kids