Like all great habits, caring for the environment is a practice that starts at home and by setting the example. Kids may be blissfully unaware of the damage we all cause to the Earth simply by carrying out our daily routine, unless we make efforts to educate them and highlight the importance of our legacy. This should be a wonderful gift that transcends with the passing generations. Here are a couple of practical ideas to teach kids how to be eco-friendly:
1. Set The Example
Kids follow the examples they see. Whether the examples are good or bad, small children tend to copy that behavior. So, keeping that in mind, it will be a lot better to set a good example, which your children will then follow.
For instance, if they see you turning off the water while you are brushing your teeth, the kids may learn to do that as well. Same goes for unplugging all electronic devices that are not in use. Kids will see and learn these habits as something normal and will learn that it is simply the way it is done.
2. Teach About the Importance of Recycling
Talking about being eco-friendly needs to be a top priority of parents. And, naturally, it needs to become your kids’ top priority as well. Teach them how to recycle. Talk to them about how almost everything can be used again and again. Make small containers to serve your home recycling needs. Be sure to make them in such a way that the kids find them appealing and easy to use. They could be just regular waste bins, but colored and labeled for their different uses. If you feel artistic, draw images of the items that are to be thrown away into the corresponding container.
3. Plant a Tree or Garden Together
Planting trees and gardens can help teach the cycle of nature. Looking after the garden will not only teach your child responsibility but also how to look after the environment. It also offers a sense of belonging, as your kid will constantly want to check its progress (and sometimes even treat it like a pet!).
4. Swap and Share Instead of Buying New
Another highly effective lesson is to teach your kids about reusing. At a certain age, children may lose interest in their toys. Instead of constantly buying them new ones, organize toy-swaps. What this means is that you and some other mom-friends and their kids and organize a ‘free market for toys’. This way your child can swap his old toy for a different one while giving his toys to someone else. It’s a natural win-win. Things get reused instead of thrown out, and you get to save some money. Plus, kids learn first-hand about the effectiveness of reusing (and it’s also sweet on mom and dad’s wallet).
5. Be Eco-Conscious Everywhere You Go!
Don’t limit the ‘green’ attitude to your household. Teach your child wherever you are. For example, teach her to throw away wrappers and litter in waste bins, instead of on the ground. Also, when you go together to the store, always bring a reusable tote bag instead of constantly buying plastic ones.
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Teaching your children how to live green is not hard at all. It just takes a little bit of dedication and mindfulness in our everyday routine. How do you teach green living in your home?