Over the years, many destructive habits have led to pollution, wasted energy and depleted resources across the planet. However, this does not have to be the same future for our children. Instead, by teaching youngsters early on what it means to be eco-friendly and by raising them to appreciate their planet, children can enjoy a much better life for many generations to come. Here are a few helpful ways in which you can teach your child to love and protect their planet.
Respect for Nature
One of the first places to begin when raising an Earth-friendly child is to teach them reverence for the planet. In other words, share with children the importance of caring for the environment so that the environment can return the favor. Give children lessons on respecting all living creatures – plants and animal life that they encounter. For instance, have children spend time in the great outdoors, but teach them the importance of leaving natural habitats undisturbed. Having children refrain from kicking up rocks, throwing sticks, and avoiding wildlife are all practices that can go a long way towards respecting mother nature.
Another great way to teach children how to respect nature is to start a family garden at home. Children can gain many valuable lessons about protecting the planet by watching their very own plants, herbs, and flowers grow. This is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate to children just how valuable soil, water and sunlight truly are for preserving life. For instance, give children the responsibility of using water from the yard to nurture their plants. This fun activity will give them a first-hand account of why it is so crucial that they protect the Earth and its natural resources.
Reduce, Reuse & Recycle
Also teach kids to be wise with their waste. This can be done by reducing, reusing and recycling at home. Children can be taught how to reduce and limit the amount of waste they create and how separate out any items that can be used for something else. For instance, when it comes to recycling, show kids items that were created from recycled material so that they can understand the importance of how one simple act can make a huge difference. Teach them the practice of sorting items—newspapers, glass, aluminums, and plastics—so that these items can be transformed into new ones, helping to directly save the planet and keep items out of landfills.
The same holds true for unused items around the home that can be reused into something else. Empty cans can be turned into pencil holders; newspapers can be used for fun arts and crafts projects; and old crayons can be melted to form new, jumbo rainbow crayons. These are just some of the cool ways you can give your child hands-on practice when it comes to reducing, reusing and recycling.
Use Less Energy at Home
Another great way to teach children the importance of green living is to use less energy at home. This can take the form of using less water, relying less on electricity, or even reducing your carbon footprint by carpooling more or even biking to your destinations. For example, use less water by having children turn off the faucet when they are brushing their teeth. This act alone can save up to 200 gallons per month in water for a family of four. Explain to children that that is the equivalent of 200 gallons of per milk per month! They’ll be astounded by the impact that they can make towards preserving water. Similarly, have children turn off the lights when they leave a room or to unplug unused items like games, tablets or chargers when not in use. Such small actions can go a long way towards preserving fossil fuels and preventing unnecessary waste.
Lastly, Have Ongoing Discussions
It is important to have continuous discussions on saving the planet with your child. Create learning opportunities where your child can practice preservation efforts. One great way to do this is with the analogy that compares the Earth to the house they live in. Just like a house requires cleaning—including sweeping, mopping and wiping things down, the Earth requires the same level of care and attention to detail when it comes to reducing energy consumption and waste, which is like the dirt that has built up inside of a home. Let kids know that the Earth is their ultimate home and that they have the power to make a difference. They can keep their home clean and care for it by doing their part to sustain the planet. Teaching kids such sustainability lessons early on in life is an excellent way to ensure the planet is preserved for many future generations to come.
Author Bio: Cassie Brewer is a health professional. In her free time, she enjoys writing about her passion (healthy living of course!) and everything beauty related. Nothing makes her happier than helping other be the best version of themselves they can be. You can read more at cassiebrewer.weebly.com and follow her on twitter @Cassiembrewer.