As a parent, it’s your job to introduce important topics to your children. Rather than letting them encounter the challenges and complexities of life on their own, you must take them by the hand and walk with them as they learn.
This is as true for sustainable and eco-friendly living as it is for anything else. If younger generations aren’t taught why these concepts matter, they’ll never develop the desire to invest in them on their own.
Here are a few of the best ways to slowly introduce the idea of green living to your kids in a manner that is gentle, enticing, and thought-provoking.
Start by Unplugging
It’s recommended that children 2 to 5 years old spend no more than one hour a day in front of a screen — and even then, they should only be consuming high-quality programs.
This helps to underline the fact that one of the first steps in showing your children the importance of preserving the Earth is disconnecting them from the alternative reality of their devices.
As you strive to unplug your kids and encourage less screen time, look for earth-friendly activities to steer them into. This doesn’t have to be complicated. On the contrary, simply encouraging them to go outside and play can be a great start.
Experiential learning — i.e. “learning by doing” — is an excellent way to begin to broaden their mindsets and develop an inherent love for the Earth itself. Whether they’re playing, hiking, exploring, camping, or even visiting an outdoor fitness park, getting kids of all ages outside is the best way to begin teaching them how to think green.
Encourage the “Three R’s”
While supporting causes and voting for specific political candidates are effective ways for an adult to make a difference, when it comes to a kid, the best place to start is right at home. You can do this by encouraging the “Three R’s:”
- Repair: Teach your children to extend and preserve the life of their belongings whenever possible.
- Reuse: When something fails to perform its original duty, look for other ways to utilize it.
- Recycle: When disposing of something, always remember to recycle when possible.
As you teach these behaviors to your kids, inform them about the impact that it can have on the world around them. For instance, when recycled plastic is used in manufacturing, it conserves nearly 90% more energy than when materials are created from scratch. By informing your child of these kinds of facts, you show them how they can make a difference.
Introducing Green Living to Your Kids
Introducing the concept of earth-friendly living to your kids doesn’t have to be boring or tedious. In fact, overwhelming them with fact-based pessimism and doom and gloom predictions is the opposite of productive.
Instead, look for simple ways to encourage your child to fall in love with their home planet. By cultivating a love of the Earth and showing them simple ways to be good stewards, such as the Three R’s, you can gently persuade them to invest themselves in sustainable living in the name of a stable future.