Raising children to be environmentally conscious has never been more of a challenge. With the world’s population exploding and our natural resources dwindling, parents are faced with teaching their kids about conservation at a time when they need it most.
Kids should know about the environment because it is important to care for the planet and the natural world that we’re living in. Kids can benefit from understanding how important recycling is, planting gardens with us, and making their own decisions on what they want to do to help. They’ll also learn how to be less wasteful and consume less.
You can start teaching children how to be environmentally friendly by taking them on walks in the park. Show them trees, plants and animals. Explain their importance and make your kids understand why we need to take care of the environment. They’ll also learn a lot about life while being close with you and nature. It is a great way to spend good quality time together as a family too!
When they get older, establish recycling bins in your home so that they can see what happens to their papers, glass bottles and cans after they throw them away. Make sure that you’re making an example yourself by showing them how easy it is and how much better our planet will be if we recycle more often. You don’t have to make a big deal out of it. If you want, leave a small box in your kitchen so that they can easily drop their bottles and cans in there and teach them how to not be wasteful.
If you include your kids in the process, they’ll have a better understanding of it and be more likely to keep doing it. It’s done correctly so that you don’t overwhelm them with too much information or make them feel like they’re being scolded.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways that you can help your kids become more aware and appreciative of our natural world.
Here are some tips for raising an environmentally-conscious child:
Recycle, Recycle, Recycle!
Kids love to mimic their parents and will pick up habits – good or bad – very quickly. In other words, if they see you recycling instead of throwing your disposable plastics away every day, they’ll follow suit. You could even start by taking them with you when you drop off your recyclables for pickup by your local waste management service. They’ll get a kick out of seeing the trucks come and collect “all their junk” from the big green bin in the driveway!
Plant a Garden
Planting a garden is an incredibly rewarding experience (kids especially love digging in the dirt!) However, it also has many practical benefits too including helping kids develop a connection with nature, as well as teaching them how to water and harvest their own food. Plus, it’s a great way for you to teach your kids about the different types of plants and vegetables that are grown in your area.
Have you ever heard the saying “play outside dirt cheap?” You probably have – because it’s true! Getting out into nature is one of the best things for both adults and children alike. It reduces stress, improves digestion, helps you relax and so much more!
Go on Walks
Nature doesn’t always have to be just fun and games either: sometimes getting outdoors simply means going on an exciting (or even educational!) walk through your local park or along a beautiful hiking trail in the mountains. Being exposed to the natural world can open up your kids’ imaginations and provide new ideas for their own stories, poems or drawings.
If you want your kids to love the environment, make sure they spend plenty of time just watching and enjoying nature! Go on walks through your local natural park and try to spot various species of birds or animals (or even insects!) or simply sit back on a nice warm day in front of the TV with some snacks and watch an educational documentary about wild creatures.
While it’s true that not all fun activities have to be out in nature – playing games is still definitely one of the best ways for your kids to learn more about the environment. Board games like Monopoly teach them about city planning while card games such as Uno will get them counting out their cards – which is surely a great way to teach them about recycling!
Recycle your Car
Yes, you read that right: recycle your car! If you’re planning a road trip with the family this summer, don’t just drive – ride! Bicycling is one of the most environmentally-friendly ways to get around and even if it’s not practical in all situations, you should certainly consider biking as an alternative mode of transportation at least some of the time. It’s fun and healthy for both kids and adults alike – plus, it will save lots of money on gas too!
One important lesson that parents need to convey to their children is simply that we can’t go on using up and wasting our natural resources forever. One of the main reasons that it’s so important to teach your kids about the environment is because they’ll grow up with a better sense of how to treat nature in order to make sure that we leave our planet habitable for future generations (and maybe even aliens!).
Lead by Example
If you want your son or daughter to be environmentally conscious, follow through! Don’t expect them to recycle if you’re throwing your recycling in the trash every night. Likewise, don’t talk about being a tree-hugger while leaving that half-full soda bottle sitting on the coffee table… Your children will see right through it and not take what you say seriously either!
You don’t have to be an expert or an “expert” on raising environmentally-conscious children – but if you’re making a conscious effort to take steps towards helping them appreciate and love the environment from early on, I think you’ll find it will pay off both now and in the years ahead.
Children are our future. Teaching them to love the environment and take care of it will ensure that they grow up into adults who can make a difference in their communities and around the world. The earlier you start, the better! You don’t need special skills or training—just your own time spent with your children, caring for our planet together. It starts by planting a garden together, recycling waste at home, talking about climate change on walks in nature – teaching kids from an early age how to be environmentally conscious is one way we all have power over what happens next.” Understanding and appreciating nature is something that will serve them well in the future, because it will help them to appreciate the beauty around us. The best time to start is now.