Kids are like sponges. They absorb knowledge around them and, as studies show, the earlier kids adopt healthy practices, the more likely they are to continue those practices as adults.
The same is true for learning eco-friendly habits.The earlier they learn these Earth-friendly habits, the more likely they are to become an automatic part of their lives. Create this eco-consciousness early in your children by setting a good example and sharing your love of the planet with them! Some easy steps will set them on a lifelong green path.
Parents often give their kids regular reminders to turn off the lights when they leave a room and to not run the water while they brush their teeth. These reminders are in the interest of saving resources as well as the cost of utilities. But they’re not always effective for kids. Instead, these things come off like commands or scolding. Probably not the best way to get kids intrinsically interested in going green.
Instead, make it education. Take it a step further and explain to your kids WHY these measures are important. Discuss where the water from the tap originates and why it isn’t an unlimited resource. Explain how power is created and discuss how solar options can reduce the amount of electricity that must be used from a power plant. Also, explain to them about water usage along with conservation tips.
Get kids actively involved. Don’t just tell kids about recycling and eco-friendly practices, get them involved. Aluminum can collecting is a good way to get kids involved in recycling. It’s also a great opportunity to have kids talk with recycling experts about what happens to the cans once they’re recycled and what kind of products are made from them. The fun of recycling aluminum can extend to plastic, glass, paper and more once kids realize all of the fascinating ways that old products become new.
Model good consumer habits is a great way to get kids to pick up good habits. The more they see you do, the more natural it will become for them. Try modeling good consumer habits while you shop. Point out and select items that are made from recycled materials. Show your children what kinds of packaging are wasteful and unnecessary. Be mindful of what you throw away. Show kids that composting, donating to charity and of course, recycling is all preferable options compared to throwing something in the trash.
Teach kids to respect nature. Another great way to get kids more eco-frinedly is to teach them about nature. Relocate bugs and spiders outdoors rather than grabbing a shoe. Discuss how using natural products protects the water supply from harsh chemicals. When you see trash outside, don’t ignore it. Kids will notice that you pick it up, and they’ll do the same as they grow up, simply to keep the world around them clean. You can also get kids invovled in community nature camps or activities like the boy and girl scouts that continue to expend their love of the outdoors.
These are just a few examples of things to do with your kids. There are dozens more, but these few are a simple and easy way to get started. Being a good environmental role model goes a long way toward instilling a green mindset that your kids will carry into adulthood. They’ll grow up with a sense of responsibility to take care of the planet for their own generation, as well as the next. What better gift can parents give?