In today’s world, there is an ever growing need for people who understand and are passionate about how the earth is being treated. Making choices to be more environmentally friendly and setting up “green” lifestyle practices is a great way to take care of the world around you.
However, many children don’t understand or don’t know how they can make a difference in making the world a cleaner, more sustainable place. Because many of the concepts surrounding the environment are complicated, it can be hard for children to make sense of it all. But by helping them make small changes, you can be starting them on a path to a more eco-friendly life.
Create a “Litter Patrol”
One way you can make sustainability understandable to your children is to help them learn how to keep the world around them clean. Kelly-Rose Bradford, a contributor to EcofriendlyKids.co.uk, shares that one way you can keep kids responsible for making their environment a cleaner place is to create a “litter patrol”. You can start within your own home—which can be a real benefit to you as well—and then move their patrol area into the yard, the neighborhood, and even larger areas. By giving them the “job” of patrolling the litter they see, they will feel more invested in cleaning up the world around them.
Show Them What They’re Helping to Protect
Very few people are going to want to make a large life change if they don’t know or understand the benefits of doing so. This is the same with children. It may be a hard sell to ask your kids to keep the environment healthier if they never get to experience the wonder and beauty that is the outdoors.
To help with this, KidsHealth.org recommends for parents to teach their children to love and respect the outdoors by participating in activities such as planting a garden, building bird feeders, hiking, camping and even taking trips to famous outdoor locations like national parks. Showing your kids how their simple acts can help protect the plants and animals in these areas will make a strong impact on them and their choices.
Teach By Example
It’s going to be hard to convince your kids to live greener lives if you have yet to embrace that lifestyle yourself. For this reason, it’s crucial that you teach your children by example and become eco-friendly yourself before you try to push it on them. More4Kids.info suggests for parents to become advocates for reduce, reuse, recycle; get more involved in community programs that benefit the environment; purchase green products from your local stores or markets to show their children how important this topic is to them. Making sustainability a priority in your life will help those ideals to more easily translate to your children as well.
Children can truly benefit from being informed about the environment and the impact—positive or negative—that they can have on it. Use the tips mentioned above to help your children become more conscious of the effect they can make on the world around them.