With so many factors negatively affecting the Earth—from pollution, to depletion of natural resources and global warming—there is no wonder why many parents want to make protecting the planet a family affair. Parents who are concerned about the welfare of the planet can instill in their children values that are aligned with Earth-friendly behaviors. Here are a few great tips for how to raise green, Earth-loving kids today.
Respect for the Outdoors
Parents are their children’s greatest teachers! One of the first lessons you can impart on your child is how to have respect for mother nature. While children love being outdoors, sometimes their behaviors can get the best of them. From picking up and throwing rocks, to littering, stepping on plants and even feeding wildlife, it is important for parents to have important discussions with children on why such actions may do more harm than good.
Nature is at the core of life on the planet and having reverence for the great outdoors is a great way for children to show they love the Earth. For instance, explain to children why they should leave natural habits as undisturbed as possible, why littering is harmful (especially throwing plastics on the ground) and why wildlife should be left alone.
For an even more hands-on learning, start a family garden and grow your own fruits and veggies. This will give your child an opportunity to connect the dots with how soil, water and sunlight all work together to sustain life on the planet.
Reduce, Reuse & Recycle at Home
Raising green kids who love the planet all starts at home. You can teach your kids environmental responsibility by practicing the 3 R’s—reduce, reuse and recycle. This basic principle will help children see the value in items that they use on an everyday basis. Children can reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfills by conserving more items at home or reusing items and repurposing them altogether.
For example, plastic bottles can be rinsed and then cut in half to be used as pots for plants. Or have children color on both sides of their paper instead of throwing away the sheet once the first side has been used. You can also have a separate recycling bin in the kitchen so that children can separate out their paper, plastic, glass and metal. These are all great ways children of any age can care for the planet.
Energy Conservation at Home
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Similarly, have kids practice energy conservation at home. One of the first places to start is by using less electricity. Remind children to turn off the lights when they leave a room and to also unplug unused items such as chargers from the wall. These small changes amount to big savings for the Earth since they require the use of less fossil fuels.
Children can also be reminded of how to conserve water at home. One great way to do this is to have them turn off the faucet when they are brushing their teeth or to have them take lukewarm showers instead of steaming hot ones. These small changes can go a long way towards healing the planet and they’ll also help you cut down on your utility bills!
Green Cleaning Products
Have a little helper around the home who likes to assist you with chores? Tidying up around the home is another great way to raise an Earth-friendly kid. Many of today’s household cleaners and aerosol sprays are made of toxic chemicals that can be dangerous to your health. From skin allergies to full asthma attacks, many of these cleaners put harmful agents into the air that you and your loved ones breath every day. On the other hand, green cleaning products are made of Earth-friendly ingredients and were created with love for the planet in mind.
What’s more is that you can even create many of these cleaners yourself. For example, try sprinkling baking soda over a carpet that needs deodorizing. Or create a multi-purpose cleaner with water, vinegar and lemon juice to clean any area of the home. You can even have your child help mix these ingredients, giving them pride in making something that is not only gentle on your home but the planet as well.
Raise your kids to appreciate the planet. Your child will be a part of the next generation entrusted with protecting Earth and its precious resources. Consider any of these helpful tips to get your kids on the fast track to a lifetime of habits that will protect the planet and ensure its longevity.
What are your favorite tips for raising earth-loving kids?
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