Teaching eco-friendly habits to our kids isn’t that complicated. Living an eco-friendly lifestyle starts with ourselves and becomes a part of the way we teach our kids about living and becoming a grown-up. Nowadays there’s no dodging the topic, we as a species can take better care of our planet. Even though a massive proportion of the pollution is generated by big industries, we can still play our part as consumers and parents.
Here’s 4 habits we can teach our kids to share our love for our planet:
Instill simple eco-friendly habits in your kids
Our kids learn from watching us, so let’s start by setting a good example. If we already practice an eco-friendly lifestyle, then it should be straightforward. If not, it’s a good time to start!
Small things add up and make an impact. Switching off the lights when we leave a room, unplugging appliances, turning off the water when we brush our teeth or cleaning the dishes… All these little ways to save energy and water can seem trivial, but it’s the seed to being aware of our environmental impact within our own homes. We are role models for our kids, so if we show them that these little habits are important, they will also pay attention to them.
A love of nature: “It’s not my garbage, but it’s my planet”
One of the best ways to appreciate the beauty and magic of nature is to spend time in it! Take them for walks and bike rides, enjoy a picnic and take the time to observe the sky, trees and animals. Even if you don’t know much about nature, it’s easy to appreciate it by looking at all the small and big things around us.
There’s an increasing number of “nature cleanups” being organized in cities and in the country. If your children are old enough, join a nature cleanup at a park or beach. It’s a fun way to learn about pollution and make a direct contribution. It’s great to make friends with people who share eco-friendly habits and your kids will be proud to stand next to their filled garbage bag!
Recycle, reuse, reduce & upcycle!
From carrying a reusable bag for grocery shopping to sorting the recycling at home, there’s tons of eco-friendly habits that we have already picked up. Involve your children as much as possible. Your kids will probably hear about the three R’s at school: recycle, reuse and reduce but it’s at home that they will learn to practice it.
Quiz your kids about recycling: Is this glass or metal? Can this greasy pizza cardboard be recycled?
Can we reuse these glass jars for storage? Are these gift wraps and cords good for another use? Can we cut up these magazines for some craft projects? There’s tons of materials that can be reused instead of going to the trash. Create practical ways to store them and get your kids into the habit. It’s also a good way to save money.
Get your children involved in decluttering their rooms by sorting and throwing away or selling the things they don’t use anymore. We accumulate so much that we end up not finding the things we care about and end-up under piles of stuff. Having a space that is clear of clutter also creates calmer more relaxing environments.
Upcycling is one of my favorite eco-friendly habits! Turning an old t-shirt into a shopping bag, painting an old shelf to give it a new life, building a castle from cardboard boxes… There’s so many creative ways to give new life to old objects and make them useful again.
Shop smart & less
Do we need more clothes or gadgets? Most unlikely that a 10th pair of jeans will make us happier. Shopping can be an eco-friendly habit, when we buy things that we actually need, of better quality and from sustainable sources. Take your kids to the 2nd hand shop, teach them to read the ingredient labels and stay away from cheap fast fashion.
When it comes to cleaning products and skincare we shouldn’t have to choose between what works and what’s good for us. Teach your kids about healthy and nasty ingredients and how it can have an impact on their health. Choosing natural products makes sense for our bodies and our planet.
Sharing our love for nature, how to be smarter about our resources and shop responsibly are all eco-friendly habits that we can teach our kids to make a positive impact and teach them to be involved in the future of our planet.
Until next time, Tania xx