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KidTips: get 'em involved

A few months ago we had a drawing for Fabkins fabric napkins for kids. To enter, parents sent in their own KidTips -- things they do with their children to teach them environmental sensitivity. Kristi has some great ideas, illustrating the importance of including kids in your daily tasks and just being a good role model:

My daughter is almost 2.5 yrs old and we pretty much do all the things I've seen listed in the KidTips section...she's even started requesting her OWN cloth napkin at dinner (so I find the Fabkins idea very timely and fabulous!) and she has already informed ME when I left a light on after leaving a room!  We get her involved in recycling by teaching her which items go in which repository (e.g. we have multiple cans in the bathrooms or bedrooms, etc.)  She knows to turn off the water when she's brushing her teeth and not leave it running forever when she's washing her hands.

I'm having a hard time coming up with a "tip" per se, but I believe it is important to get kids involved in any of the steps that grown-ups take, so they seem second hand.  This Halloween we made all our decorations using old in-house supplies and crafts and didn't need to purchase anything new.  She loved helping out and seeing her projects adorning our house and yard!  One of the things near-and-dear to us is eating organic and locally whenever possible, so our daughter accompanies us to farmer's markets (chief taste-tester), helps pick out items at the grocery store, helps with the garden (which translates to knowing when items are ripe and eating all our cherry tomatoes before they make it back inside!)  Another important thing for us is recycling her clothing--she has grown SO quickly and we have found the local resale shops and events to be a great way to pass on her gently used items and pick up some great new finds at a discount--and cut back on our new purchases.

Oh--one thing that has helped us a lot (this might only apply to parents of little ones) is making a habit of taking our own cloth towel--like an old tea towel or dishtowel with us whenever we go to eat.  We almost never have to ask for extra napkins!  (We also bring a set of small-sized utensils for her and her own reusable water cup.)  Actually, I tend to throw a towel in my bag no matter where we go--we've seen a couple cups of warm milk go careening off the grocery cart and managed to mop ourselves and our spills up pronto!  We have a basket filled with these old towels in the dining room and they come in very handy for all the little spills and clean-ups through the day.  We keep a small empty trash can right in the kitchen to use as a laundry container for these towels so we don't have to constantly pick them out of our laundered clothing.

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