5 ways to raise eco-conscious kids
Teaching kids to respect the environment and take action to help protect it is a valuable lesson to instill early on. Showing them how to care for the earth teaches them kindness for something we all share and benefit from. Here are 5 simple ways to teach kids how to care for our planet.
- Grow a garden
Kids naturally love digging in dirt, watering plants and harvesting. Growing a vegetable garden together is a fun way to teach kids about what plants need to grow. With this understanding they will gain a greater respect for nature and a sense of responsibility. The great thing is you don’t need a large yard to do this. You can use a container with good drainage to grow your own organic (no nasty pesticides added!) vegetables all summer long. Start with easy to grow veggies like tomatoes, carrots, and leafy greens such as lettuce and spinach. Kids love to see things grow and knowing that they helped in the process may even encourage them to try more vegetables!
- Conserve water and energy
Save energy in your house by turning off electronics when they are not in use. Turn off the lights when you leave the room and try to use natural light for as long as possible. Conserve water by turning off the tap when brushing your teeth, hands, and dishes. Try to use less water for baths and showers. Another way to conserve water is to collect rainwater to use on your garden and indoor plants. Get the kids involved by checking and measuring how much water they collected after a rainstorm.
- Waste less
We produce way too much waste. It all ends up in landfills, increasing greenhouse gases, contaminating the groundwater and soil – all very bad for our environment! Here are some easy ways to create less waste that kids can get involved in:
- Use reusable lunch containers and water bottles for school, work and outings.
- Remember your reusable grocery bags. Reusable bags are not just for groceries, use them for all kinds of shopping!
- Create fun crafts using recyclables such as egg cartons, paper rolls, and yogurt containers. Click here to check out our Pinterest page for craft ideas!
- Donate old clothes and toys. This is also a great way to teach generosity.
Get kids involved in sorting through recyclables early on. Talk about how recyclables are used to make new things. Teach them where paper comes from and how recycling it helps save trees. They will quickly learn the difference between what can be recycled and what cannot, teaching them to be mindful of waste. Use a compost for food scraps then add it to your garden for extra nutrients to help it grow.
- Play outside. Go on an adventure!
Children are naturally drawn to outdoor adventures. By encouraging this love and curiosity for nature they will grow up to respect all living things. Playing outside and going on outdoor family adventures is a great way to inspire kids to respect the earth. Talk about the plants and animals you see, teach them about the different seasons, go on nature scavenger hunts, hikes, bike rides, the options are endless. Nature resets our minds, boosts our spirits, making us all happier. Add a daily dose of Mother Nature to your schedule!
These tips are a great start to raising eco-friendly kids. Being mindful of our actions and how it impacts the planet now and for future generations is the first step. Lead by example because kids watch everything we do and mimic us more than we think. They are already naturally drawn to nature so getting them involved will create a greater understanding and love for the environment. Be aware of these tips and over time it will be second nature for you and your kids.
What are some ways you teach your kids about the environment? Share them in the comments below!