Involving the kids in the daily household chores can be educational and fun, especially for the younger ones who love following around their parents and helping them. And while you may prefer using bleach to clean up everything, it’s not really a good idea to expose children to toxins such as chlorine. In order to keep your home tidy and your family safe, we have compiled a list of several eco cleaning ideas for kids.
Children not always love cleaning after themselves, but if you start teaching them from early age, it will become a daily habit for them. You should explain them the meaning of ecology and why it is so important to protect our environment. Most kids will instantly buy into the idea of saving the planet, so they will be excited about eco cleaning, as well.
Before giving your kids any chores to do, make sure to get rid of all the toxic cleaners you are probably used to. This includes all commercial cleaning products – unfortunately, they contain hazardous ingredients that can cause a wide variety of health problems such as skin irritation and skin burning, allergies, breathing difficulties, and many others. They pollute the air in your home and with regular use, can even be carcinogenic over time. You can either replace them with eco cleaners that are also available in most stores, or use easy home-made concoctions. They are safe not only for the environment, but for your family, as well.
Simple items from your pantry such as vinegar and baking soda are well-known that will clean almost everything in your home – bathtubs and sinks, ovens and upholstery. Moreover, they are easy to use by your children, too. Just mix the ingredients in advance and show the kids how to use their new, green cleaner. If you want to refresh and deodorize the carpets, tell the kids to sprinkle over them a little baking soda. Then, let it sit for half an hour and vacuum clean everything – or let the kids do it. One of the most exciting eco cleaning chores is not a chore at all – give the children baking soda and vinegar to mix for the toilet. The reaction between the two will create a little explosion that is really fun, yet completely safe. And don’t worry, the smell of vinegar will go away, when the toilet dries.
For a green washing of the windows you can use lemon juice or a mixture of 2 cups water and 3 tablespoons vinegar. Then arm the kids with a spray bottle and clean soft cloths and your windows are done. If you and your family don’t really like the smell of vinegar, you can add a few drops of tea tree oil – it not only smells nice and fresh, but also disinfects and kills bacteria. In fact, several essential oils are very effective antibacterial and antiseptic agents, so you can use them in your cleaning routine – tea tree, rosemary, lemon grass, lavender and eucalyptus. Another green all-purpose cleaner is the natural soap. Look for Castile soap or any other organic vegetable-based soap that is safe and biodegradable. It’s even easier to use by the kids, if it’s in its liquid form and can be used as laundry detergent, hand or dish-washing soap, etc. Mix it with water and a few drops of essential oil and you will have the perfect cleaner for floors, tables, walls or cutting boards.
Another eco cleaning chore your children can easily do is decluttering and sorting out the garbage. Show them what should be thrown away and what could be reused and recycled. Have them divide the recyclable items into three piles – plastic, metal and glass. Then before putting them in the recycling bin, the kids should wash them well with water and soap – tell them to remove all labels, if it’s not too difficult for them. Old or broken toys can also go for recycling.
All these household chores can be done eco-friendly with a little imagination. Try to be as green as possible, if not for yourself or the environment, then for your kids. Their health and well-being are the most important, after all.
This is a guest post.