Climate change is affecting the lives of future generations. As parents, we are responsible for teaching kids about the importance of caring for the planet. One of the easiest steps you can take is to introduce your kids to sustainable living!
Sustainable living is a lifestyle that reduces harmful environmental impact by minimizing your carbon footprint to positively impact the world. Introducing your kids to sustainable living can be a fun experience for your family and instills a lifelong appreciation for the environment. It also earns them a sense of stewardship over the world they will inherit! Read on for 8 easy ways to introduce sustainable living to your kids:
Bike Or Walk To School
If your child’s school is just a few blocks away, encourage your child to bike or walk to school if they are old enough. Not only will it help to keep them physically active, but also reduce their carbon footprint and save on gas money in the long run. You can even encourage them to wear a location tracking fitness tracker to make it more exciting as you give them more independence!
Teach Simple Habits
Saving electricity and water is good for both the environment and your pockets! There are plenty of tips out there that can help you reduce your energy and water consumption. A great way to introduce sustainability to kids is by teaching them how to save electricity and water whenever possible. Start by showing your child to turn off the lights and switch off the TV or gaming console when not in use. You can also teach them to turn off the sink while brushing their teeth. Just these simple habits can help your child practice sustainability little by little.
Read Books About Climate Change
Your child might not be able to understand the importance of sustainability if they don’t see a need for it. You can do that by reading books about climate change to open their eyes to how they can make a difference in the world they inherit. Children’s books like The Lorax, by Dr. Suess, make it easy for your kids to understand what’s happening to the world and look for ways to reverse the damage. As you read books about the environment, slowly discuss why it’s happening, what’s causing the problem, and what they can do to make a difference.
Spend More Time Outdoors
By spending more time outdoors in nature, you can explore the woods, the ocean, or the lake to show your child the importance of protecting the environment. Participate in a local beach or park cleanup to model for your child the importance of protecting the planet and how each person can help make a difference, no matter how small a step it may seem.
Practice Recycling At Home
The best place to start sustainable living is right inside your home! You can teach your kids the importance of recycling to reduce household waste. Identifying which items they can and cannot recycle can be a fun activity for kids! Set up a recycling station inside your home and let your kids filter your recyclables between a plastic, paper, metal, and food waste bin. Alternatively, you can bring them to your district’s recycling centers to let your child see how many items they recycle and how they put them to good use!
Visit A Sustainable Grocery Store
What you purchase also impacts the environment. If possible, try to shop at sustainable stores or stores that sell locally grown or organic produce. Shop at zero-waste stores that let you refill household consumables and bring your own reusable shopping bags. With refills, you no longer have to use single-use plastics and your child will enjoy seeing the jars get filled while seeing how small steps can make a big difference!
Grow Your Own Produce
Growing your own produce is a great way to save money and be sustainable. It’s also a perfect opportunity to go natural and organic! Start small by starting with fruits, vegetables, or herbs. When choosing which plants to grow, determine first whether they can thrive well in your area.
Growing your own food garden will be a great after school activity for the entire family (you can even set a reminder on your kid’s smartwatch to water the plants every day!). You can let your children get dirty while having fun planting and tending. Your children will enjoy watching their plants grow and feel proud picking them to finally eat!
Set By Example
Your children will not adapt to a sustainable lifestyle if they don’t see anyone showing them the importance of living sustainably. To encourage your child, lead by example to become a role model for your children. As you reduce, reuse, and recycle, your children will be inspired to make a difference too!
Introducing your child to sustainable living is excellent for the environment. It teaches kids to be better citizens and become more conscious of their surroundings. As you teach your child how to be sustainable, lead by example; you shouldn’t just encourage them to be sustainable and adapt to the same practice. It can be challenging at first, but soon, it’ll become a part of your entire family’s lifestyle.