This is a guest post by Carly on behalf of The Splash.
Bless their cotton socks, kids are born with open minds and a keen sense of wanting to please their parents, so this makes it an ideal foundation for teaching them the right way to live, including being aware of what we do and how it impacts others around us – and that encompasses the natural environment.
Here are 5 tips to help you kids develop eco-friendly habits:
1. Create a dialogue:
No kids like a lecture or long-drawn out conversation, but if you see somewhere to insert a learning lesson about the environment and why we need to take care of it, do so. This could be at the zoo or while watching a nature programme on TV as many places now discuss pollution and harm to animals. Let them connect the dots in their head and ask questions, which will provide further ways to talk about it with your kids. You’ll be surprised just how much those wheels will be turning in their head, putting together how they feel about animals and how they would want to do something to help.
Image by practicalowl on Flickr
2. Make a recycling game:
Kids in a family can get quite competitive so channel it into a learning game around who can find the most things around the house to recycle. Set up different bins with categories like plastic, paper, etc. Whoever finds the most, wins. You win, too, because you’ve also got them to do a chore and you’ve taught them about items that can be reused rather than just put out for the bin man.
3. Give through recycling:
Another way you can do double duty on teaching is to have them go through their older toys and clothing, selecting items that they could give to local shelters and charity shops. This shows them how these items do not have to be thrown out but can be used for the good of others, providing necessities and extras for children in need. They will understand the need to help others while also not wasting things.
4. Switch it off:
It’s easy for kids to get distracted, leaving a light on or television on in room while they wander somewhere else or run out the door. Or, they may like to watch the tap water run and splash in it while they are brushing their teeth. Teach them about how electricity and water are resources that should be cherished rather than wasted. Get them into the habit of switching off a light or device that they are not using (and that includes portable game systems that run on rechargeable batteries and have to be plugged in!) as well as turning off the tap while they brush. You will also benefit with a drop in your bills!
Image by birdheartedgirl on Flickr
5. Unplug the fun:
In the olden days of your own childhood, there were most likely not video games, tablet devices, or mobile phones to chat on. You had to make your own, non-electric fun. And, you still can with your kids by picking out activities that use your mind and body rather than electricity. These include board games, books, colouring, crafting and lots of outdoor fun where you and the kids can benefit from exercise and fresh air. This includes going for a walk in the park or on a natural trail (which also puts you and your kids in touch with the very thing you are trying to protect as a subtle way to further the eco-friendly lessons you are trying to instil), riding a bike or scooter, playing crazy golf, or even volunteering at a community environmental protection event where you clear a park or beach of litter.
Instead of letting kids grow into consumption monsters, this is a great opportunity to raise children who appreciate what they have and make it last. These are also activities that can help you spend more time with your kids, shaping them into caring adults.
This post was contributed by a guest writer. If you’d like to guest post for Naturally Earth Friendly please check out our Become An Author page for details on how YOU can share your tips with our readers..