Earth day is celebrated every year on April 22. It is a day to appreciate our planet and all it does for us. We often take Earth for granted, but it is the only home we have. without it, we would be lost in space.
This day is a reminder to do our part in taking care of our planet. We can start small, by recycling and using less water. Or we can make a bigger impact by plant trees or lobby for environmental protection laws.
However we choose to celebrate, Earth day is a time to come together and show our love for our planet. 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
As any parent knows, getting kids to brush their teeth or eat their vegetables can be a real challenge. But teaching kids about the importance of being environmentally friendly doesn’t have to be a battle.
One simple way to do it is to walk or bike instead of drive whenever possible. Not only is this better for the environment, but it’s also a great way to get some exercise. And who knows, you might even have some fun along the way.
Just think of all the interesting things you’ll see and the people you’ll meet when you’re out and about on foot or on your bike. So next time you’re thinking about hopping in the car, consider walking or biking instead. It’s a great way to show your kids that being environmentally doesn’t have to be a struggle.
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.
It’s never too early to start teaching kids about recycling. By instilling good recycling habits at a young age, you can help them develop a lifelong commitment to protecting the environment. And it’s not as difficult as you might think.
There are plenty of fun and easy ways to get kids interested in recycling. For example, you can turn sorting garbage into a game by seeing who can separate the recyclables from the trash the fastest.
You can also take them on a field trip to the local recycling center to show them how their efforts make a difference. By making recycling fun and engaging, you can help kids develop a keen interest in this important issue.
If you teach your children the right recycling habits for electronics early on, they will really learn to be responsible.
5. Make Smart Purchases
As parents, we want to do everything we can to help our kids grow up to be kind, responsible adults. And one of the best ways we can do that is to teach them how to make environmentally-friendly purchase decisions. Here are a few tips:
Encourage them to buy secondhand whenever possible. Not only is this better for the environment, but it also teaches them the value of thriftiness.
Make sure they understand the importance of recycling. They should know that recycling doesn’t just mean putting paper in the recyclable bin – it also means choosing products made from recycled materials whenever possible.
Explain why it’s important to buy Eco-friendly products. Help your kids understand that their purchase decisions can have a positive or negative impact on the environment. For example, buying recycled paper instead of virgin paper helps to conserve trees.
Teach them about green labels. There are a lot of different green labels out there, and it can be confusing for consumers. Explain what each label means and why it’s important to look for these labels when shopping.
Finally, encourage them to think about the long-term impacts of their purchase decisions.
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!
One of the best ways to get your kids interested in the environment is to get them involved in gardening.
Not only will they learn where their food comes from, but they’ll also get a hands-on lesson in how to care for the earth. One of the best things about gardening as a family is that it can be done on any scale. Whether you have a large backyard or just a few pots on the balcony, there’s always room for a little green thumb action.
And, as an added bonus, you’ll get to enjoy some quality time together while you’re at it! So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start gardening with your kids today.
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 no 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.
Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for freshness and consistency.