The Eco Effect: Meet Shmootz

(VIDEO) Enter the world of Green$treets where kids play with a variety of characters, each with their own unique financial and ecological personalities, designed by Neale and award-winning Tom Hester, the creator of Shrek.

How do you teach your offspring that we live in a global community in which products are grown, manufactured, and sold by someone and that we all share one planet to make that happen?

We need to be conscious of our behavior. The ECO-Effect™ is a book and a website to help you raise our collective consciousness, be inclusive, and help you to take steps together with your family. I want to link the generations, corporations, towns and schools, nationally and internationally.

The goal is to create a working dialogue, an ECHOING of ideas, questions and possible solutions. Most importantly, I want you and your next generations to take action. Whatever your financial circumstances, you helped to create that and whatever the ecological state of the world is, we helped to create that, too. It’s now time to take charge and change things.

Drop In. Don’t Drop Out.

Do what you can and don’t give up simply because the big picture seems overwhelming. Don’t fight about plastic or paper bags, but do help to bring awareness of the issues to your kids and grandkids, who are probably way ahead of you with regard to these issues. They actually may be the teachers; encourage them to bring ideas to you. Remember, action begins with raising consciousness about the issues—starting the ECHO.

Create a statement about who you are and what you want to stand for as a family, with regard to saving money and saving the planet. It sounds daunting, but it is not. Any good corporate mission statement is built to be simple; frankly, if it is not, we would question if the leadership understands the purpose of their company.

Make it easy, and ask the kids for input, because it has to be a shared mission. Your home is the perfect starting point for both ECOnomic and ECOlogical lessons. Just as your ability to; earn, save, spend and share affects an economic cycle, your ability to reduce the use of fossils fuels, garbage production and pollution affects the ecological cycle. The family goal statement could be as easy as; “We, as a family, are committed to using our money in the ‘greenest’ way possible.”

ECO-Action Detectives

Direct your kids to go room-by-room, searching for things that you and your family can do to contribute to a healthier family, a healthier planet and a healthier wallet. They will consider those things that affect the entire house—heating, cooling, electricity, and water. It will be great if they think of ways to rebuild your home or have you buy a new electric car, but the point is to also look at this exercise as if you are on a limited budget and want to take some easy steps to make a difference.

There's also a game-playing component to drive these points home for your kids.

Join the fun in the magical town of Green$treets by rescuing endangered animals! Earn money by planting a beautiful garden, or by tossing items in the treehouse using a catapult and keeping Shmootz™, the gooey monster who is always making a mess, from ruining all the fun! After the animals are rescued, take care of them by feeding and playing with them until they are ready to go home. Learn more at www.greenstreetcommons.com.

Other real-life ideas could be: buy and switch out some old light bulbs with new Energy Star qualified compact fluorescent bulbs, shut off the lights when leaving a room, take shorter showers, stop running water while brushing your teeth, refrain from a conversation with the refrigerator door open, reset your thermostat to save on cooling and heating, seal drafty windows… you get the idea.

Your kids should make a list of all their ideas, research the cost of their ideas, and present their findings to the family at the next family meeting, so you all can agree on what to commit to do. Show the kids the bills each month so they can hopefully see their ECOnomic savings and also understand how they have contributed to their ECOlogical savings, as well.

Saving money and saving the planet will hopefully empower the whole family for an amazing ECO-Effect.

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