How To Teach Your Kids To Be More Eco-Conscious
These days making sure that your child is an eco-conscious kid is one of the best ways to raise him/her. A lot of parents are doing their best to teach their children skills that will serve them well when they become adults. However, many overlook an essential attribute to pass down to their kids, and that is environmental consciousness. It’s important to pass down skills on how to love and care for your environment to your children.
Getting your child to be eco-conscious may sound complicated, but it is quite simple. It’s good to teach children these skills at their tender age because they will be a part of their characters to adulthood. It will benefit them and let’s not kid ourselves the world at large because we need more environmentally conscious adults too. To do it, you need to train them on simple things that they can often do until it becomes a lifestyle for them. There are some ways you can teach your child to love the environment and take care of it. If one option doesn’t work, there are many other ways available; just use the one that suits your child best.
1. Spend time outside in nature
Probably the best way to start your child on the eco-conscious journey is to show them the love of the outdoors. Instead of keeping them cooped up in the house when there is fair weather, you should take them to places like parks to play, out fishing, for bicycle rides and on hiking trails or even for camping. In the process, your children will associate the outdoors with fun, and then it will be easy for them to have respect for and adopt habits that conserve the environment.
If there is one activity that helps keep our surroundings clean it is recycling because it cuts down significantly on the amount of waste we let loose on the environment especially non-biodegradable waste. Make recycling a habit in your home and teach your children how to do it. Teach them to separate trash and have different bins for each type. Also, go with them when you are dumping the waste so they can see how organized recycling can be and adapt it as a way of life.
3. Conserve water and food
Teaching children how to preserve food and beverages in the fridge or freezer is a great way to avoid throwing away huge amounts of food leftovers. It’s a waste of resources to find out that your kinds left milk or juice on a counter to spoil.
Don’t forget about lower the water usage in your household. Teaching your kids to turn off the tap when they are done with one task is not so hard. Why should you waste water between brushing your teeth, washing hands or washing out the shampoo and applying conditioner to the hair while showering?
Another great way to conserve water is installing low flow faucets or low-flow aerators on your taps. The process is simple as you can only wish for. Unscrew the old aerator, apply some pipe tape on the new one and screw it on the faucet. And you’re done!
4. Encourage children to use environmentally friendly means of transport
You don’t have to use the car all the time when going from place to place. Teach the children to walk or ride a bike to a place they need to go that is not far away from home. It’s a great way to save fuel and also minimize air pollution. Make sure you explain to your children the effects of air pollution and why taking a bike, running or walking to a place nearby is an excellent choice for the environment.
Animals are affected by pollution in a big way, and you need to explain this to your children. The best way to raise an eco-conscious kid that loves animals is to take them to places with animals from a tender age. Start by having a pet when they are children such as a bird, fish, hamster, a cat or even a family dog.
Involve the children in activities with the family pet such as taking them for walks and feeding them. You can also take them to the zoo where they will see lots of other animals. Then explain to them how important it is to keep the environment clean as waste harms animals and makes it unsafe for them to live in their habitats. Give examples such as waste in waterways that harm fish. When you instill this knowledge in your children at an early age, it will help them to grow up to be responsible citizens aware of how they treat their surroundings.
A great way to raise an eco-conscious kid is to teach them sustainable gardening. Growing things and playing in soil is a great way to make a child appreciate nature. During your activities teach them how to create manure using recycled waste. Show them how such an act produces food for the plants. Make them take biodegradable waste to the compost pit themselves. In a short while, they will love recycling because they can see the benefits in the growth of the vegetables they plant.
7. Tree planting
It’s important to instill the love of trees in your children from an early age. Trees are great for the environment, and your eco-conscious child needs to know this fact. A fun way to do this is to plant a tree for every one of their birthdays. Also take them along for tree planting exercises set up by different organizations especially during days such as Earth Day. In the process teach them how trees work well for the environment and why it is important not to cut them down. You can also have an art project where you cut out pictures of different types of trees found in your area and explain to them a few characteristics about them. In this way, you will also build their knowledge of their environment.
8. DIY projects
You need to adopt a lot of DIY projects that involve recycling or reusing things such as cardboard boxes, toilet rolls, plastic bottle and even glass ones. It’s a fun way to keep them busy and also show them that trash can become art or turn into something useful. There are lots of projects online that you can use to teach your children this lesson. The idea is to show them that not everything goes in the trash and to find ways to reuse something before throwing it away always.
9. Homemade cleaning products and solutions
Choose to use homemade cleaning products in your house instead of using chemicals. Make sure your children see you doing this and emulate your style. Instill in them the love of natural products as opposed to those with chemicals. Start a simple thing such as using vinegar and bicarbonate of soda to scrub bathroom tiles and tubs. Use tea tree oil in coconut oil or olive oil for their hair to keep away lice instead of over the counter medicine or hair products. In this way, your children will know that nature provides most of what we need for our day to day lives.
Teach your children to pick after themselves and deposit waste responsibly. Have you seen adults that throw trash around in public? These are probably individuals that were not taught the importance of proper waste disposal in their childhood. Your child should always know that littering is wrong. They should know how to clear after themselves and take each item of litter to its appropriate disposal point.
11. Community efforts and projects
Involve other parents in activities that help to save the environment. You can organize carpools to minimize the use of cars. You can arrange tree planting or gardening exercises where you bring your children together and teach them about the importance of plant life. You can even organize play dates where you make objects or use toys made from recycled materials such as cardboard boxes and bottles.
Also, involve the children in activities such as repurposing furniture that will show them the importance of re-using items. Make sure that you use such opportunities to teach them some hard truths about the effects of waste and pollution on the environment. Their brains will assimilate information faster especially during fun activities.
12. Watching cartoons and movies on saving the environment
Use your child’s TV time to teach them something. There are lots of videos or cartoons for kids that show the importance of preserving the environment. Make sure your child watches these kinds of entertainment so that they can learn something even as they get entertained. Also, purchase comic books and storybooks that teach them how to preserve the environment as well. It will help them understand what it means to respect the environment and how to do it.
These are a few way to make sure your child grows up to be an eco-conscious kid. It’s a great way to nurture an informed child that cares about his/her surroundings. There are other great ways you can train your child to love and take care of the environment online, just take your time to do some research, and you will have solutions at hand. The critical thing to focus on is to teach your child life lessons on preserving the environment in a fun way. You can be sure they will never forget and will grow up loving and taking care of the environment the best way they can.
A true environmentalist by heart, Rinkesh founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no ‘Planet B’ in this whole universe.
This article was republished from Conserve Energy Future.