Environmental changes happening all around us are quite worrying. What kind of future will we be leaving to our children? As an older generation and as parents, it is on us to recognize the gravity of the situation that threatens the future on Earth.
As parents, we are also responsible for leading by example. You can’t expect your children to appreciate the Earth and nature if you don’t. It’s on you to teach your children about sustainability and conscious living. It’s never too early, and even the smallest steps can contribute to a more sustainable future.
If you are willing to teach your children how to have a greener future, here are some tips to help you engage and make them interested in sustainability.
Start with storytelling
Children love stories and that’s why they are the best way to introduce your children to the topic of sustainability and climate change. In addition to reading them stories they love, you can incorporate stories that will help them understand why it’s important to take care of our planet and how to best do that.
Thankfully, there are many books about sustainability for children of every age. This means that you can start with this storytelling habit as early as you want. These books can also be a great way for parents to start a conversation about how they, as a family, can start being more sustainable and eco-friendly.
Spend time in nature
There’s no better way to teach children to appreciate our planet than in nature. Families who spend a lot of time in nature are more in tune with it and they tend to appreciate it a lot more. A great way to teach your children about the importance of sustainability is by going to places where they will be surrounded by nature.
If you live in the city, make sure you take children to parks and botanical gardens. Go mountain hiking, go to woods, spend time on lakes and rivers. Simply do whatever you can to bring your children closer to nature. This will help them develop a closer relationship with it and develop a deeper appreciation and compassion for our planet.
Choose childcare centres that advocate sustainability
When enrolling your children in childcare centers be as picky as necessary. More and more childcare centres are including sustainability in their philosophy. So, when choosing a childcare centre for your child, do some research and find the ones that support sustainability. Choose childcare centres such as Insight Early Learning, where teachers and educators will encourage children to take an active role in protecting the environment and creating a better and more sustainable future.
Make sustainability part of your family culture
As mentioned, parents lead by example, and as a parent, you should make sustainability part of your family culture. This means that you should find ways to bring sustainability to your home. Start by conserving water and energy, thinking about food choices, and minimizing food wastage. Start using eco-friendly and reusable products around the house, start decluttering, give greener gifts and so much more.
The other great way is to involve your children in those everyday eco-friendly habits and chores. The best way children will learn is if you let them participate in those chores as well. So, you can teach your children to use less water when brushing their teeth.
Try encouraging them to recycle, teach them to turn off the lights when leaving the room, teach them to stay away from plastic, and instead use reusable or biodegradable products. Also, make sure you teach them to wash their clothes less frequently and to dry them naturally instead of using dryers. These daily chores can significantly reduce our carbon footprint. And if we teach our children this early on, our planet will stand a chance.
Make learning about sustainability fun
Sustainability is a serious topic, but for children, we should try to make it fun. The best way children learn is when they are having fun. So, try coming up with some fun, eco-friendly crafts to do with your children. You can all make recycled paper, you can have fun making upcycled decorations for Christmas.
Make different crafts using only natural materials such as twigs, sticks, rocks, shells, pinecones, and so on. You can also save fabric and paper scraps and reuse them for different types of crafts.
Start bringing in meat-free days
We can teach our children to eat less meat while they are still young. It’s much easier to start introducing meat-free days when your children are still little. This is a very important step as they will learn early on that eating less meat can have a huge impact on our planet and its climate.
When bringing in those meat-free days, tell your children how managing livestock is very environmentally and economically unsustainable. And don’t forget to tell them that the only way we can start making a change is by eating less meat.
Teaching children sustainability and the importance of it is a good way to sow the seeds of change. Lead by example, encourage them to ask questions, and be in tune with nature. Tell them that making a significant change will be a journey, but that every small step counts. Overall, these are only some of the ways you can teach your children about sustainability. There are many other ways as well, but it’s always good knowing where to start.
Author: Erin Lane
Erin Lane is a creative writer and lifestyle blogger from Canberra, Australia. She is a hard-working, organized, dedicated professional interested in learning new things. With five years of experience in writing, Erin has covered numerous topics, including health, fashion, fitness, makeup, home improvement, decoration, business, and finances. Erin is an active person who enjoys nature and traveling.