Guest post by Boom Rizal
If you want to introduce kids to green living it’s best to do it early. The younger they are, the easier it’ll be for them to develop eco-friendly habits which you can then reinforce as they grow up.
They’ll be more open to what you have to teach when they’re young because they haven’t been given the chance to adopt the mentality that whatever’s popular is acceptable. Because let’s face it, being eco-friendly isn’t very mainstream even if it’s generally accepted that it should be.
If you’re a parent and you’re looking for eco-friendly activities for your kids, here are a couple of things that you might want to try.
Introduce them to hydroponics
Another way to teach your kids about green living is by encouraging them to grow an indoor plant. A less traditional but slightly more exciting, and more educational way to do this is by conducting hydroponic experiments with your children.
Hydroponics is becoming very popular and it’s actually very easy to set one system up if you’re only taking care of one or very few plants. They’re ideal for indoor planting and will not only teach your kids about how to grow plants but also introduce them to the technological advancements and possibilities in the agriculture industry.
A good tip is to grow plants that are, or can easily become part of your regular diet. Tomatoes and herbs for example are great examples of what you can grow. They’re not only delicious, but the experience of growing and eating them is a lesson in itself for your children.
Take them to the local farmer’s market
The farmers market is a great place to teach children about where their food comes from. They’re not only exposed to the different kinds of meat and produce that is available locally but they’re actually able to see and meet the people who grow them as well.
The whole experience is generally more personal as compared to buying groceries at the mall or at a supermarket and the food there is healthier as well.
Frequent trips to the farmers market are also the best way to encourage your kids to visit and support these kinds of establishments. This goes back to the earlier idea of starting your kids in the green life early.
Let them try worm composting
It might seem like the idea is a little out there but give it a chance. Kids (especially boys) actually like playing with worms so worm compost might be a lot of fun for them.
But it’s not just about the fun; It’s also a great way to introduce your kids to proper and productive disposal of biodegradable trash.
Obviously this will go very well with a garden so you might want to set one up for you and your family if you don’t have one already.
Harness the power of the sun
The sun is a great source of free and clean energy but it used to be very expensive to setup a solar power system so not very many people could afford the initial investment.
Prices for solar panels have been dropping though and it’s now actually very affordable. Installing them in your home will not only be beneficial for you financially, it has very low carbon footprint, and it’s a good way to introduce your kids to renewable energy.
If the use of solar power becomes the norm in your household it increases the chance of your children adopting a similar setup in their respective homes when they grow up.
You can also buy them solar toys, solar flashlights, solar chargers, and other similar gadgets if you want to take this a little further.
Take them on nature trips
A little cliche true, but there are very few things that can encourage love for mother nature than an actual experience with her.
So bring your children hiking or even mountain climbing. Of course you need to pick the easy trails first and forest trails are usually better if you have one close to you. There are just so many things to see, hear, and smell in a forest trail. You’re literally surrounded by nature and that can be very captivating for a child.
Another great idea is to bring them on exploratory dives. It’s not only exciting but very educational as well.
Replace your usual family trips with ones that allow and encourage your children to interact with nature. Make them aware of the environment, show them how beautiful it is, and instill in them the value of preserving it.
Avoid single use products
Recycling should already be a norm, so do that but take it a little further by discouraging your kids as early as possible from using single use products like toilet paper, disposable plates, disposable utensils, etc.
We already produce too much trash as it is and adding more just so our experience becomes a little more convenient is taking it too far already. Why not just use a normal towel, regular plates, regular utensils, things that you can reuse.
Sure you’ll have to set aside some time to clean them, but it’s ultimately better than a trash can or two full of take home garbage just because you couldn’t be bothered to clean your pans and your plates.
Remember that when the garbage man leaves with your trash, it doesn’t just disappear. You’re lucky if your city has a recycling plant but most don’t, they just dump it in a landfill.
So if you don’t want your kids to become part of the people who are constantly aggravating the already very serious trash problem we have, get them used to a lifestyle that does not encourage unnecessary waste.
Green up your child’s entertainment
Read your kids story books that have an eco friendly message. Watch movies and cartoons with them that promote the preservation of nature and the conservation of our precious resources. There are surprisingly a lot of materials out there that will help you do this.
You’re probably going to read your children story books, and they’re also bound to watch movies anyway so you might as well pick the ones that will have a positive influence on them.
As a parent you can decide what your children will be exposed to while they’re still young. So take full advantage of this because it’s not going to last very long.
There you go, 7 things you can try if you’re having a hard time teaching kids about green living.
How about you?
How do you encourage your kids to develop a green lifestyle?
Share your thoughts and comments with us.
About the author
Boom Rizal is the author of BetterJoys.com. Learn more about her by following her @boomrizal.