We all want to be good role models for our kids and instill in them a sense of responsibility. And we also want to leave a world that can sustain future generations indefinitely. That’s why it’s so important to lead by example and be a responsible resident of this planet.
This doesn’t just involve us, but should continue down to our children too. Since our kids are our future, we need to teach them to embrace a sustainable lifestyle that benefits the environment. Here are 5 ways you can get your children to be more conscious about the environment.
Get them used to the outdoors
Spend plenty of time outdoors and encourage your kids to play outside often instead of staying cooped up indoors. Not only is it great to get fresh air, your kids can explore and develop a closer relationship with nature. This will enable them to appreciate natural, outdoor spaces more.
Encourage them develop green hobbies, such as biking, hiking, and gardening, all of which are fantastic family activities. By spending time outside, you can teach them about plant life, the cycle of nature, and animals, hopefully sparking an interest in the environment.
Teach them about cleaning and clearing
The Earth is our home and we want to keep it as clean as possible so we can live comfortably. This is where the importance of cleaning up after ourselves comes in. If you go out to the park for a picnic or find yourself in amongst nature as part of a holiday, remind your children to always leave the place the same way they find it.
This involves picking up after ourselves, not littering, and doing little to disturb plant and animal life. This might seem obvious, but you’ll be surprised at the number of parents who give bad examples by disregarding the environment!
Be creative with waste
Reducing, reusing, and recycling is something you need to teach your kids about as part of an environmentally friendly lifestyle. To make it more fun, use your waste products in a creative way—arts and crafts are terrific for teaching the idea of waste not want not. By reusing old clothes, newspapers, bottles, and other items, your kids will develop their creative and DIY skills, all while helping keep waste levels down.
Recycling and upcycling old items are fun and educational. There are plenty of craft ideas online, creating anything from cute decorations for the house to toys for your kids. This will encourage them to reuse rather than dispose, and is also a great way to keep them occupied on a weekend.
When it comes to sustainability, a big part of that is moderation. Teach your kids to make an effort in reducing waste. Moderation should be practiced in all aspects of our homes. Energy, heating and air conditioning, water and food are just some of the things that you should teach your children to save.
Usually, these can seem like the simplest of things. Tell them to turn on taps to a reasonable level and not leave them running; every drop saved goes a long way in helping the environment. Stress that finishing meals is important for lowering food waste by encouraging to choose appropriate portion sizes.
Encourage them to save on heating and cooling to lower energy usage—let them know that it’s often better to crack open a window for cool, fresh air in the summer instead of using air conditioning. Whenever your child is not using a room or electronic device, make sure they know to shut off the lights or power, saving energy.
Let them participate as much as possible
Rather than just telling your children about reducing your impact on the Earth, it’s much better to get them involved. This way, they take on more interest in the issue at hand and will have a better learning experience. Remember that there opportunities to learn can be found anywhere!
Let them take part when you recycle. Turn it into a game and challenge them to collect as many recyclable products as they can. Participation can even be something as small as simply letting them toss bottles and cans into the recycling bin.
Incentivise and give them responsibility too! For example, reward them if they follow simple green rules such as turning off the tap while brushing their teeth. Or assign them the responsibility of collecting recyclable materials, adjusting the temperature, or switching off lights.
Another great way is to volunteer together or join local initiatives. These have benefits for everyone—you and your family have a fun day out and you’re also helping the community and environment. Some example activities you can join are neighbourhood cleanup groups, community gardening, or charity and donation events. Being part of a movement is incredibly rewarding and a nice way of getting your kids to adopt a green mindset.