How Nannies and Au Pairs Can Make Earth Day Everyday

aaaTeaching Children to be Green

Tomorrow is Earth Day. Great power lies in the hands of nannies and au pairs that consistently teach children to reduce, reuse, and recycle. To teach children to respect the environment, we must live green and value our natural world, especially when our charges look up to us. If we truly care about children we must take better care of Earth and teach kids how to do the same.

Easy things nannies, au pairs, and children can do daily include using reusable mugs and water bottles, recycle aluminum, and plastic food containers, and turn off the lights and televisions when leaving rooms.

When shopping for groceries caregivers should show children how to look for recycling symbols on the products they buy. Purchase items in recyclable packaging whenever possible. Carry reusable shopping bags, and buy in bulk when possible to minimize packaging waste.

Bicycle or walk to school, activities, and playdates when possible.

Teach children to turn off running water while brushing their teeth or washing their faces and hands. Use a kitchen timer to encourage older children to take shorter showers.

Read Earth friendly children’s books to the children in your care and watch Earth friendly movies.

Subscribe to fun children’s magazines published by the National Wildlife Federation which include: Ranger Rick, Just for Fun, Animal Baby, and Your Big Backyard During the year subscriptions make great birthday gifts for the children’s friends.

Some other ways to encourage the family you work for to reduce is by asking the parents if you can reduce the use of paper by canceling unneeded catalogs at:

Rather than throwing away small used clothing the parents can receive a tax deduction by donating the children’s small clothing to Goodwill, or the Salvation Army. You can also donate gently used toys and clothing to a local thrift store, or a neighbor or friends with smaller children in need.

What do you have the children do daily to reduce, reuse, and recycle?


  1. When I started this nanny job the children did a great job at turning off lights when they left a room. Now, I have to keep reminding them to do so. I send them back upstairs or downstairs to turn off lights and the parents are frustrated now too. I even started a reward system. They gain a sticker on their sticker chart if they remember to turn the lights off without being asked but they still do not remember. The parents reward the children after they gain a certain number of stickers. The sticker chart works with everything else: clearing table, dirty clothes in hamper, putting folded clothes away, and so on so I can’t figure out why they have UN-learned this important behavior. Nanny Jenny P. Nanny of triplets Boston MA

  2. Everyone says to use reusable shopping bags at the grocery store but I use the small plastic bags as liners in the small garbage cans around the house and to collect cat litter. Since I am reusing the bags I feel it is using them in an appropriate way that is environment friendly since we reuse them. Am I wrong to think about using the small plastic grocery bags?Cynthia, Mother, Greenwich CT

  3. Take kids on hikes. Use a bird book and tree books to find birds and trees on your hikes. For the comments above I think it is ok to use plastic shopping bags when you use them again or bring them back to the store to recycle and used again by the store. Just be good role model for kids. From Jessica in Chicago

  4. The parents are allowing us to plant a vegetable garden in the back yard. They will maintain it on the weekends but I am happy to help the children water the garden too. I cannot wait until we can eat the veggies!Melissa, Okaland California

  5. I take the kids for a walk through a park and have them search for branches, trees and bushes that are shaped like letters or numbers. The kids get excited and learn a bit and use their imagination. After they get better at it, I am going to buy a disposable camera and have them record their findings.

  6. If the parents allow it I am happy to take the children to their church volunteer activities. The children and I volunteered picking up garbage along the forest hike trails. Of course they are in junior and senior high school students.Shari, TN

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: