Make A Green Video With Your Kids to Celebrate Earth Day!

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Next week is Earth Day. Like many parents, I feel it's important to instill green living habits in my children. I've started this from a young age. When my son was five, we created his Halloween costume from the trash, literally. It was his idea. Every week,my son and daughter help sort the trash for the weekly dump trip. That's how my son got the idea creating a recycling bind costume. Rather clever -- it was as an act of reducing waste and we used the opportunity to learn more about recycling using some of these useful Internet resources.

Like most digital natives, my kids are comfortable using computers, video games, and the Internet. As a parent I'm concerned about the challenge of healthy media use, and the (good) parenting advice we're given is to use media together.

But, I'd like to take it a step further. What if you made media together with your children -- as an opportunity to be activists together or to facilitate their activism. After all the best way to become media literate - is not just to be a passive consumer, but to make media -- media with a purpose, that can help raise awareness and dollars for a cause. Take for example, what Angela is doing with her daughter Laura.

When Harry and I launched "Harry's a Green Geek" video series, we combined his interests in the environment with raising awareness for a cause with making media together. What better way to combine his green geek interests with media making than to create a video blog post tip series on Green Geek Tips.

The Harry's Green Geek Tip #3 (Shown above) is about washing your cloths in cold water and was inspired by this post from Crunchy Goddess. As an added bonus, he also shared some thoughts at the end about video blogging techniques and we did a charity giveaway contest. SOS Children's Villages was the lucky winner. The (Tip #1 was about not using paper bags and Tip #2 was about recycling gift wrap paper)

So, let's all make 1-2 videos with our kids offering some environmental tips to celebrate Earth Day. Here's a process.

1. Ask your child some questions about how you might become a greener household or save energy. Identify one thing you can do in your household to save the earth.

Here's some resources that will give you a few ideas:

Earth Day Every Day: Raising Eco-Conscious Kids
Environmental Education for Kids (EEK)
Never too young to be green
Tree Hugger's Green Kids
Lazy Environmentalist Green kids

2. Create a story board. Plan out what you are going to say and if you need any props to illustrate your point.

3. Shoot the video together. Decide who is going to be the actor and who is going to camera person. More video blogging tips here.

4. Remember to keep some safety tips in mind. Don't include license plate numbers and images of your house with address identification, or their school. If you post on YouTube, make sure that all “tags” (search identifiers) don't reveal their real names, locations, or schools. More tips and resources here and here.

5. You can use video editing programs that come with you computer to add a title and post onto YouTube.

6. Leave a comment on this post with a link so we can find it.

7. Don't spend too much time in front of the computer - go outside and enjoy Earth Day!


Beth Kanter, BlogHer CE for Social Change and Nonprofits, writes Beth's Blog.

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