Many people who care about the environment today only learned to care as adults.
If you’re interested in raising an environmentally-conscious child, here are some simple, kid-friendly ways that will help your child get a great start – and just in time for Earth Day!
1. Walk or Bike
Wherever possible, encourage your child to walk or ride a bicycle.
If your child needs to run an errand, go to school or go to a friend’s house, you should tell him how wonderful it is for the environment to not drive (or be driven).
2. Make the Most of Everything
Paper used to be a scarce and expensive commodity a long time ago. Now, high quality paper is practically free. Children can be very careless with paper for this reason. They can often toss a nearly blank sheet of paper into the trash or recycling after only writing a couple of lines on it.
As cheap and abundant as paper is, it still requires a staggering amount of wood pulp and water to produce. You could encourage your children to completely use both sides of each sheet of paper before throwing it away.
3. Reuse or Buy Used
While going to the bookstore for great new books for your children is a wonderful way to live, book production does place a heavy burden on the environment. Instead of tossing money at the bookstore for new books all the time, it could be nicer to take your children to the library.
You could help your children borrow the school textbooks they need from the library or buy used, too. Reusing things is one of the best ways to go green.
4. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle!
People who don’t learn about the importance of recycling at a young age often resent having to dispose of batteries and devices safely. Recycling these takes time – one needs to take them to a store that has recycling bins for electronic waste.
If you teach your children the right recycling habits for electronics early on, they will really learn to be responsible.
5. Make Smart Purchases
While teaching your children the value of recycling is a very good idea, teaching them to avoid having to recycle is even better. Help them see that staying away from
unnecessary packaging – bottled water, packaged food and so on – is the right idea.
6. Help Others Reduce Consumption
Children do love getting new toys and clothes. While you may not be able to get them to cut down on these purchases, you could encourage them to donate their old stuff. You could help your child look up a charity that he likes to donate his old clothes to.
7. Get Your Hands Dirty!
Every child should learn to raise a garden and tend to it. The more in touch with the earth a person is, the more environmentally responsible he is likely to be.
Show your child how to make compost and raise a garden with nothing more than organic fertilizer and pesticides.
You don’t need to get your child to change everything. That would only cause resentment. Simply show your child a few ways to go green. He’ll catch on overtime.