When it comes to raising eco-kids, there are a few steps parents can take to ensure their little ones understand how important it is to protect the planet. Even the smallest changes can go a long way towards making a huge impact! Here are a few helpful tips on how to parents can raise their children, of all ages, to be conscious of the environment around them.
Spend Time Outdoors
One great way to raise an eco-conscious child is to have them spend time outdoors. Not only will outside play be a great way for children to get some fresh air and sunshine, but it is an excellent opportunity for parents to instil in them an appreciation of Mother Nature. Outdoors activities that the entire family can enjoy include camping, hiking, or even a simple trip to the backyard. The key to spending more time outdoors resides in teaching children that they should not leave a trace of their presence. For instance, teach children how to leave natural habitats undisturbed, why they should not feed wild animals, and why throwing garbage in a wastebasket, instead of on the ground, is so important.
Conservation at Home
Another way to raise eco-kids is to teach them to conserve energy at home. There are many ways to save energy at home including turning off unused lights, unplugging appliances that are not in use and by addressing leaky faucets. Parents can also teach children eco-friendly habits like turning off the faucet when brushing their teeth to save water at home.
The same is true when it comes to the three R’s—reduce, reuse and recycle. Recycling for kids should be all about teaching children eco-conscious independence by allowing them to separate their own garbage from compost and recyclables and putting it into the correct bin. Parents can also get in the habit of reusing and repurposing items at home to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. You’d be amazed at the furniture you can upcycle these days!
Start a Garden
Another eco-friendly activity that children will enjoy is starting a family garden. Children can grow their own flowers, fruits, veggies and herbs in their own backyards. Starting a garden will teach children where food comes from and it will also teach them valuable lessons on how the earth sustains life. This is a great opportunity for children to contemplate the significance of plants, water and dirt and how they all work together to feed not only humans but wildlife such as insects and other animals as well. Children will surely enjoy watching their plants grow from tiny seeds into lush plants while learning how to protect their planet.
Lead by Example
Lastly, keep in mind that parents are their children’s greatest teachers and children will emulate the behaviours they see at home. This is why it is so important for parents to embrace eco-friendliness as a way of life. For example, parents can rely on green cleaning products, they can embrace DIY projects to reuse items that would otherwise be thrown away, and they can even carpool or bike to their destinations instead of driving, to reduce their total carbon footprints. Children will take notice of such behaviours and may someday do the same when they become adults.
Rubbish free lunchbox
Setting a good example at home also continues with the lunchbox. Promote a rubbish free lunchbox that utilises reusable containers instead of plastic wrap and packaging. Purchase foods with minimal to no waste, particularly reduce the purchase of foods that come in individual packaging. Just imagine how much plastic waste would be reduced if every school aged child used zero plastic in their lunchbox!
Raising eco-kids is about empowering children with the knowledge they need to care for the world around them. Parents can teach children how to respect nature, how to appreciate energy at home and engage with them on a regular basis as to why being gentle with the planet is so important. By taking these few steps, the entire family can leave a positive impression on the planet for future generations to come.
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