Having fun with your family should not cost much—both economically and environmentally. And no, this doesn’t mean that you should go bird watching or gardening all the time.
There are actually a lot of fun-filled activities that will make you rethink how you spend leisure time with your family.
With all your daily activities that somehow impact the environment in a not-so-friendly way—like using up a surprising amount of electricity to power up your multitude of gadgets, or driving around town in your minivan— wouldn’t it feel great to venture into activities that are both cost-effective and environmentally sound?
Play time with kids can be a productive and enjoyable learning experience, especially if you involve them in activities that teach them how to value the environment.
This list, written by Patricia Evans from the Huffington Post, shows a few of the many ways you can make your leisure time fun and planet-friendly.
1. Recycle the rubble.
A lot of times, we just throw away used items without thinking twice if we can use them again for some other purpose. Recycling can actually be a fun and fulfilling activity especially if you are creative.
A quick search on the Internet will give you countless ideas on how to give second lives to items you would just otherwise throw away.
Organise an art session with your kids and agree to use only recycled objects as your materials.
It could turn out to be a really wonderful experience that would develop your eye for recyclable treasures!
2. Cook the good stuff.
So you love to experiment in the kitchen during your free time? How about creating a list of no-cook recipes?
Not only is it economical and convenient, you can also reduce your carbon footprint by not using an electric stove, an oven, or a microwave when preparing mouth-watering dishes for your family.
No-cook recipes are usually very healthy since they involve a lot of greens and fruits, so this can also help you grow a healthy appetite for non-fried dishes. This switch to a wholesome diet is also great for your kids.
3. Make cash out of trash.
Ever wondered how you can make money with almost no capital investment? Well, maybe if you dig hard enough through your “waste”, you’ll find that there are actually enough rubble to start a money-making venture!
Gather interesting materials such as bottles, bottle caps, soda cans, plastic wraps, foils, old magazines, and other non-biodegradable materials. Create anything, from bags to jewelry—make your imagination run wild!
And again, if you run out of ideas, there are tons of tutorials online on how you can create novel products you can sell to your friends, family, or even online where there are millions of eco-friendly product supporters!
4. Camp out.
Camping gets you back to the many things nature has to offer, and is an economical and eco-friendly alternative to a hotel! Get creative and make a tent out of improvised materials.
If you’re not comfortable spending the night in a tent, consider other shelters such as lodges and yurts.
5. Get a dose of playground fun.
Spend time with your kids at the playground! Not only does this promote physical fitness for kids, it also exposes them to the many wonders of playing outdoors.
In the playground, children are most likely to run, jump, and skip around – allowing them to get the daily exercise they need to keep them in shape.
Playground play helps kid get physically strong and fit, time spent in the play area reduces the risk of them being part of the so-called “obese generation.”
Fun playground time with kids is also a great way to help them make friends and develop a set of social skills including cooperation and leadership. Count on playground time to boost your kids’ physical and mental development.
6. Pimp your place.
Who says that the only way to create a remarkable living space is to fill it with expensive sets of modern furniture and huge flat screen TVs? Wouldn’t it be cooler to have friends over and impress them with your DIY couch and solar-powered exercise gear?
Investing in green furniture or equipment not only gives your space character, it saves you money and decreases your carbon footprint! You can also invest in commercial playground equipment for your kids.
Place them in your extra backyard space and you’ll never have to worry about your kids spending too much time on the computer or in front of the TV! This is a great way to promote playground fitness even at home.
7. Go on an eco-travel.
A great way to make vacation with your family more meaningful is to volunteer at the many eco-centers emerging in many tourist destinations around the world.
With ecotourism becoming more and more popular in many countries, you can be sure to find a multitude of ways to help. This gives you and your family many chances to immerse in new cultures, and learn new things with the local community.
8. Bring back the boards.
Unearth your old board games or get new ones to enjoy at-home time with your kids! With the increasing popularity of digital apps and games, we often forget how fun it is to go back to basics so whip back out those Monopoly skills and have a blast playing with friends and family.
It’s super fun, mentally stimulating, and not to mention: cheap!
9. Unleash your inner athlete.
With the countless types of sports ever invented, you can very easily choose one (or two) that would do great for your family. Challenge your relatives to a family basketball competition, or host a sports fest for your kids and their cousins!
If you already have the sports gear, you need not spend too much anymore. Even your backyard can be a great venue for afternoon Ping-Pong sessions!
10. Take a nap.
This is a no-brainer. Naps are great for you, and do nothing to harm the environment!
These are only a few ideas on how you can spend leisure time with your family in an eco-friendly way. Not only are these activities economically favorable, they also help create a more sustainable future for our kids.