5 Ways to Incorporate Clean Living into Family Life During the Holidays

Teaching children to take care of the planet is always important... and the holidays are no exception. And, given that Christmas can be a time of abundance and waste, it is a perfect time to revisit the principles of giving and clean living with kids. Today, I am sharing 5 ideas for incorporating clean education principles into family life (even during the holidays), and I am sharing some information about a fun "Giving Tuesday" event. 

1) Teach and Empower - If you empower kids to make a difference in the world, they will rise to the occasion... especially if you make it fun. The Clean Foundation* is teaching kids via their famous super hero cat puppet "Eddie".

And this year, the Clean Foundation is inviting kids to join the #TeamEddie challenge. Eddie and his friends will be on Facebook Live on Giving Tuesday (November 28) waiting to say thank you to every kid who donates their recycling money that day to Clean's EnviroEd program to help kids become environmental super heroes... just like Eddie. Don't forget to check out the Clean Foundation's Facebook page at 1pm and 6pm (Atlantic time) on November 28th!

2) Reduce Waste - Kids need to be taught the value of reducing waste in their daily lives and in their homes. In our house, we always use reusable containers in lunches, and my boys take refillable water bottles to school and all their athletic practices and games. I hope that my boys are forming habits that they will carry into their adult lives.

3) Recycle - Most kids are good to recycle, as it has become the norm in most homes and schools. However, it is important to continue to encourage kids to be diligent with regard to their recycling efforts. You might also want to consider donating your recycling rebates to an environmental education program. A donation of $250 is enough to send Eddie (the super hero cat puppet) to a classroom, and it comes with a super adorable plush Eddie! (You can find more details about EnviroEd programs here.)

4) Reuse - Utilizing the second hand market is an important way to take care of the planet, and this time of year is a perfect time to de-clutter. Children should learn to buy/sell/donate used clothes and toys that still have a lot of life left in them. I encourage my boys to sell unwanted/ unused items, save the proceeds, and use the money to buy other things they need.

5) Reduce Consumption - We live in a time where consumerism and waste are rampant, so I really try to limit the amount of "stuff" that comes into our home. One trick I have used is "hosting toonie parties".... that is, when my boys had birthday parties, each guest brought a two dollar coin instead of a gift. Then, rather than having a mountain of toys, my boys had some money to buy one thing they really wanted. 

Also, during the holidays, my boys write a letter to Santa and ask for ONLY three things... in the hopes that they will get one of them. Often, they will get one from Santa, one from my husband and I, and one from another family member. Gifting "experiences" instead of "stuff" is another way to minimize waste.

So, this Christmas season, remind your kids to NOT take a holiday from clean living. As parents, we need to inspire kids and teens of all ages to become advocates for a sustainable future -- a future that will be in their hands.

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

*Disclosure: I have partnered with Clean Foundation and have received compensation for this post. All opinions in the post are my own.


  1. Great tips, Gina! I really want to try the Toonie party idea.

  2. So many good ideas! I honestly can’t wait to see Eddie!

  3. Excellent tips! It's easy being green(er) once you stop for just a minute and really think about what you want for you and your family - and the planet.

    Great post!

    Sharing. :)


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