Raising children is a non-stop teaching process. From table manners to how to be environmentally conscious, your little one is constantly learning from you. Whether you’re a dedicated gardener or just starting out on the recycling train, there are numerous ways you can start to show your children the importance of being eco-friendly.
1. Make it simple
You might think teaching about the environment is a massive undertaking, but in reality it can be quite simple. Start explaining from a young age how their home is the earth and we want to treat it well. Break it down in small but repetitive conversations that they can remember. When you go to recycle something, reiterate why you’re putting there instead of the trash.
2. It’s a family affair
To make your household more successful, everyone has to cooperate and learn. Letting them know that their part is just as important as everyone else will make them feel involved and more understanding.
3. Keep it fun
To grab their attention and have them look forward to it, add some fun to the activities. Introduce them to worm farms (LINK ARTICLE) or show the wonders of gardening. They can eat what they make! On top of that, you can get a reward chart for every week that they water the plants, recycle properly, and clean up the backyard.
4. Get them outside!
The best way to feed their love for the earth is by helping them explore it! Go for hikes, swim in the ocean, go fishing, and play sports in the park. When they associate good times with the outdoors, they will gain more respect and attachment to it.
5. Connect it to their love of animals
Take the time to explain how pollution negatively affects their beloved animals. When they can understand that their actions can impact their pets like bunnies, fish, or bird, they will have a stronger emotional comprehension.
From a young age you can begin to show them little ways they can lessen their impact. A few ideas are:
- Get them their own water bottle that they can decorate with stickers
- Have them pick out reusable containers that they are excited to bring to lunch
- Show them how to reduce waste by eating everything on their plate
- Separate plastics and paper after every use
- Have a timer on for brushing teeth and turn the water off when not needed
- Add turning off their bedroom lights to their routine before school
- Start biking places with them if possible
- Start a garden for family bonding on the weekend
There are countless little things they can start adding to their routine to get them to be more conscious. No matter how quickly they pick it up, the effort will stick and it’ll become second nature soon enough.