Just like our bodies, teach our children that we have this one planet, Earth, and we have to take care of it. We want to teach our children to not waste food, electricity or water but to protect our environment. Here are a few steps to teach your children to be environmentally conscious.
Don’t pollute! Let them see you picking up trash that you find near your home, in your neighborhood or at the local park. Ask how they would feel if someone came into our home and threw their trash on the floor. Explain that the earth is our home too and we need to help take care of it and keep it clean.
Recycle! Have a clearly marked bin for cans, paper, plastics, and glass. Let your children be in charge of separating each item. Explain that it is necessary to recycle to cut down on waste and save our natural resources. Let them see you reusing and recycling ink cartridges and cell phones. Discuss where our trash goes once the garbage truck picks it up.
Get a water purifier to save on bottled water and limit the amount of plastic you use. Get earth friendly water bottles to reuse with your water purifier instead of bottled water.
Save water! Explain where water comes from and how important it is for all life. Use a timer when family members take showers, and turn off the water while we brush our teeth.
Save electricity! Use natural light during the day, open all curtains and shades. Teach your children that when you leave an empty room, turn off the light, and TV. When you are finished in the bathroom, turn off the light. Let them see you purchasing energy efficient light bulbs and appliances. Explain that when you save electricity and use energy efficient items we are helping our planet. Go an hour a week with no electricity. Call it “Family Earth Hour.” No electricity, no lights, TV, radio, or video games. Sit as a family with candles and talk about why you are sacrificing electricity for an hour and how people used to live with no electricity. Talk about alternative forms of energy like solar and wind energy.
Difference for the environment.
Start a garden and compost. Do not use chemicals or pesticides in your garden explaining that chemicals are not good for our environment .There are awesome articles and thoughts regarding treating the soil on the web. You can begin little with cut grass, fallen leaves and kitchen scraps. Growing your own chemical free food and composting can really make a difference for the environment.
Go green with house plants. Keep plants in your home. Plants relieve stress and help clean the air. Also, plant flowers and trees in your yard to help the Earth.
Find fun Earth friendly crafts for kids. For example, decorate tote bags and aprons for relatives made from recycled material with messages such as SAVE THE EARTH and GO GREEN. Also, paint a flower pot and plant a seedling for grandparents.
Walk or ride bicycles together for local errands instead of driving the car. Hang your clothes out to dry when weather permits or use an indoor clothes hanger instead of using the dryer.
Shop for locally grown food at a farmers markets. Teach your children not to waste food at mealtime but to only take what they think they can finish. Buy recycled products like computer paper and shopping bags. I would often forget my bags when shopping until I put my children in charge of making sure we had them each time we went to the store. They would get to pick out a special dessert for remembering and being environmentally responsible.
Children get excited when they understand that they can help protect our environment and save the planet. Teach them to love our planet! Be a green role model, give them green chores, crafts and responsibilities, and they will learn to be environmentally conscious!