Green DIY Projects With Dad

By Chris Wilson
Dad working outside with two sons

For most Dads, those weekend “honey-do” lists are sometimes quite long. This spring, enlist the help of the kids and turn your home into a more energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly “green” home. Here are some DIY Dad projects that the kids can help you get done around the house:

Install CFLs In Every Fixture

If you’ve put off installing compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) in any of your home light fixtures, now is the time to do it. As you wait for incandescent bulbs to burn out, you’re wasting energy and money. CFLs use 75 percent less energy and last for years.

Have the kids go through every room and around your home and note how many light fixtures there are. Tell them to make special notes for rooms that have lights on dimmers and other, more specialized bulb fixtures. Pile them into the family roadster for a trip to the home improvement store. And if they’re old enough, have them help you install the new bulbs when you get home.

Install Ceiling Fans

If you have ever installed ceiling fans, you know it can be quite a challenge to do on your own. Grab
the kids and have them hold tools, screw on the fan arms, support the light fixture as you hook up the wiring and install the new CFLs when the fixture is ready. Try to buy an Energy Star-rated fan and once the fan is installed, raise your air conditioning temperature by five degrees until you fine tune the temperature for comfort.

Plant Trees and a Garden

Another DIY project with dad is planting a garden. Even Dads who are only “young at heart” love to dig in the dirt. Get the kids involved in some springtime planting as a great way to green up your property. Planting trees strategically around your home can provide shade and keep rooms cooler on those sunny summer days. Arm the kids with shovels and you can “supervise” most of the process. The hole should not be too deep or too narrow. In a few years, that twig you planted will be a fully grown tree and it can save you as much as 40% of your cooling costs. Gardens also are a great way to save money, educate children about growing their own food and enjoy some good eats.

Build a Worm Bin

Most children love playing with worms, so make them your family “pet.” Worms can thrive in a closed container, so why not let them eat your garbage while enlisting their help for rich compost for your new garden? Use a couple sheets of exterior grade plywood, a few scraps of 2” x 6” wood and two hinges to build your worm bin. Plastic worm bins also are available in stores. Line the bottom of the bin with a bed of moistened leaves or shredded cardboard and add a colony of red wiggler worms (Earthworms don’t do well in closed quarters). Feed them faith-fully with food scraps. They’ll produce compost and they won’t attract pests the way that a compost pile might.

Those are just a few DIY projects you kids can do with dad to get you started when it comes to making your home more green. Enlist the help of your kids and mom will be happy for the free time and the results.

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