The attitude of kids towards the environment is largely influenced by how they are taught to value nature’s diminishing resources. In getting them to go green, you really don’t have to discuss greenhouse gases and climate change by the book because it will never get them genuinely interested. Here are a few tips on how you can teach your kids earth-friendly practices:
1. Get your kids to respect the environment. For your kids to value our surroundings, you need to show them how these natural resources have sustained our existence. Make trips to the park a learning activity by teaching them how important trees, plants and other living things are. When at the beach, teach them why it’s crucial that we protect the habitat of the animals living underwater. In the same way, let them know how pollution and our careless practices can affect the ecosystem.
You can also reinforce your teachings by borrowing story books from the library or simply by turning even the most routinary activity into an educational one. You can impart plenty of lessons even when just driving around town. If your kids are able to appreciate the environment, they will understand why the need to address climate change excuses no one.
2. Teach your kids how to reduce, reuse and recycle. You can teach your kids these green practices by being good role models. Stop living in excess and purchase goods wisely. When shopping, be very conscious about buying goods that are made out of recyclable materials. Make it fun for your kids by getting them to spot earth friendly items from the shelves.
As much as possible, avoid using disposables at home and get your kids to practice the habit of reusing and recycling. Common items that can be recycled at home include batteries, aluminum cans, cardboard, glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles and containers, paper, and plastic bags. Get them to sort their stuff and donate old toys and clothes to charity. Instead of throwing away items that your family no longer uses, set up a yard sale or you may want to get in touch with your local recycling center if they do swaps. Let your kids know that by throwing fewer items, you are not contributing to the global problem of garbage disposal.
3. Practice and preach green habits at home. Switching off the lights, TV and other appliances when not in use can go a long way in terms of conserving energy. Get your kids to save water by pointing out that if we don’t act now, there may be a time when access to clean and potable water may no longer be readily available. To motivate your children, you can set up green charts wherein compliance is awarded with treats or rewards. It will take some time and a lot of encouragement before your kids can become environmentally conscious, but teaching them early on can set them up for lifetime of green habits.
4. Take part in earth-friendly activities in your community. Whether it’s a clean-up drive or a tree planting event, get your family to join in on the fun. Get in touch with key persons and encourage activities and awareness programs exclusively for kids. It’s good to get them involved at an early age because it promotes social and environmental responsibility. And through these activities, you can also teach your kids that for us to have a sustainable environment — we all need to take action.
How do you get your kids environmentally concerned? Are there notable programs in your community that others can also adopt?