Build a better world for future generations by teaching your kids about sustainable living. Here are a few fun and helpful tips…
Sustainable living isn’t just about your own habits – it’s also about teaching healthy and sustainable habits to future generations. After all, they are the ones who will inherit the planet when we leave it behind!
Along with implementing green and sustainable habits in your own life, it is important that you help to instill a sense of responsibility in your children as well. Teach them to take pride in the place where they live and spend their time. Show them how to care for their own little place in the world, and how to minimize their impact on the envirinment at large.
Of course, remember that it all starts with you, and the best way to set an example is to be one!
If you’re looking for ideas on how to teach your kids about sustainable living, below are 5 tips to try:
1. Read story books about climate change
Reading story books together is both a bonding parent-child activity and an excellent way to introduce younger children to the issue of climate change, without being overly gloomy.
Some well-known children’s classics can create opportunities to discuss the importance of living sustainably, such as Where The Wild Things Are or Charlotte’s Web. There are also books that address the issue more pointedly, from Michael Foreman’s picture book Dinosaurs And All That Rubbish to Elizabeth Beresford’s series of children’s novels The Wombles.
2. Discuss and practice recycling at home
Another issue that’s important for kids to understand is waste and recycling. You can talk about how paper is made and why recycling can help protect the forests, and discuss how some materials, such as plastic, take hundreds of years to break down naturally and are harmful to wildlife and the environment.
Once they understand the importance of recycling, you can create separate bins for plastic, cans, glass and paper, and then decorate each one with its own picture to remind them of what goes where.
3. Visit a local sustainable farm
Visiting a local sustainable farm is a great way to teach your kids about where their food is coming from and why it’s important to buy organic and locally grown fruits and vegetables. Some farms even allow you to pick your own fruits and vegetables, which can be both fun and educational. Seeing how animals used for meat, milk and eggs are kept may also give your kids a chance to think about the animal products they consume.
4. Spend more time in nature
Spending more time enjoying nature trails, forests and parks will help your kids see value in protecting nature. While you’re enjoying nature walks together, you can also broach the topic of how our actions impact nature and what we can do to minimise that impact. You could even carry an empty sack and make a game of collecting any rubbish you spot while you’re hiking.
5. Tackle an upcycling project together
Upcycling goes hand-in-hand with recycling, and creating something beautiful or functional out of an item you’d normally throw away can be a great lesson in producing less waste and using resources wisely. For example, empty plastic bottles can be turned into bird feeders; a pizza box can make an excellent surface to paint on and tin cans can be turned into DIY lanterns.