Want to raise green kids? It’s not always easy. How do you raise an environmentally conscious child in today’s hectic world? From simple sustainability lessons to teach kids about nature, here are a few tips on being green for kids.
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How do I teach my child to be environmentally friendly?
Raising green kids isn’t an easy task in this throwaway, disposable society. As parents, we spend a lot of time teaching our children things we feel they will need to know when they get older. We teach them their colors and how to count and spell.
We teach them to say please and thank you and to always use good manners at the table. Maybe you teach them about God, how to be compassionate, and to take care of those people who are less fortunate than they are. But have you ever stopped to teach them how to care for our planet? Have you showed them how to reduce their impact on the environment to ensure that they have a beautiful place to live when they grow up?
Raising Green Kids in a Not So Green World
Small, everyday actions can make a big impact on how children live their lives as adults. Raising green kids isn’t easy but these eco friendly lessons for children are simple to teach and will go a long way towards ensuring the health of our planet in the future.
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Eco friendly families do not litter:
In absolutely no situation should people be throwing trash on the ground. This could include everything from throwing a straw wrapper out the car window or leaving your trash on the ground at the park. Teach children to pick up their own trash and maybe even don a pair of rubber gloves and pick up trash along the road occasionally.
Think twice before you buy something:
If you buy your child something every single time you walk into Target you are not only wasting a lot of money but you are contributing to their obsession with material goods. One of the biggest problems with our environment today is the over-consumption of STUFF.
Every single item that you purchase will eventually be one more item that ends up in a landfill. Teach your children to make smarter choices when it comes to purchases and save your money for special occasions. Raising green kids means setting a good example. Stop buying YOURSELF something every time you go out, too.
Teach them to love nature:
Spending time outside with your kids is a great way to get them to care for the environment around them. Get them out in the garden with you and show them how to grow their own food.
Take a nature walk and look at bugs and plants. Build a terrarium with them and teach them about the water cycle. Look for toads in the garden or build a toad house. If children spend time in nature they learn to appreciate it, and as a result will grow up to want to protect it.
Show children how to reuse and recycle:
This is one of the most basic eco friendly lessons for children to learn. Teach them to reuse something instead of throwing it away. The most basic of these ideas could be to do crafts with items you have around the house like egg cartons, scraps of old material, or oatmeal containers. Let them be responsible for taking the recycling to the recycle bin.
Use old yogurt containers to start seeds for your garden. Tell them exactly WHY you are doing this. Children are smarter than we often give them credit for and simply telling them that our planet is running out of room to store trash will help them understand. Get your kids into some eco friendly crafts like this rainbow bottle cap magnet.
Teach your green kids to conserve resources:
Teach your children how to conserve our resources to help them reduce their carbon footprint. Turning off the water when they brush their teeth and putting on a sweater instead of turning up the heat are simple eco friendly lessons for children.
Another easy one to teach kids is to conserve gasoline! Make them walk to the neighborhood pool or their friend’s house if it is nearby and safe to do so. Walk your child to school or have them ride their bikes. This is not only good for our planet but good for their health, as well.
Like this post about raising green kids? Here are more sustainable tips to read:
- How to Teach Teens About Going Green : Check out these simple ways to teach your teens about sustainability.
- Earth Day Books for Children that Inspire a New Generation of Eco Warriors! Check out these Earth Day books for kids that teach eco friendly lessons.
- Sustainable Summer Tips For Green Family Fun : Whether you live in the sometimes cool north or the hot and steamy south, consider your carbon footprint as you work, play and travel this summer. Here are a few sustainable summer tips for green family fun!
The most important thing to remember about these eco friendly lessons for children is that kids model what they see their parents doing. If you throw trash out your car window and toss soda bottles into the trash can, that is exactly what they are going to do.
And if we do not teach children to care for our planet there may not be a planet here for many more generations! What eco friendly lessons for children do you think are important to teach? Check out these Earth Day books for kids with some great eco friendly lessons!
What are some eco friendly activities for kids?
Which environmentally friendly activities for children will help them have FUN while learning to go green? Here’s a of list of environmental activities for kids that you should add to your Earth Day family activities to start raising green kids!
- Teach Kids How To Recycle This is a household chore even the youngest of children can help with.
- Pick up trash. Head out with a trash bag in your neighborhood or participate in a river cleanup with your child’s scout troop.
- Plant a garden together. Planting a pollinator garden is a great way to attract pollinators and teach children about the link between nature and food.
- Make cleaning products together. Try my DIY Pine Vinegar. Homemade cleaning products are generally much safer for children to use than traditional cleaners.
- Reuse items for crafts. Eco friendly crafts are great fun for kids. Upcycle your trash, try pine cone crafts, or make a Popsicle stick bird feeder.
- Play outside! Encourage outdoor play with a sand and water table, take a hike together, or just go for a neighborhood walk.
Check out my post on sustainable family activities to encourage eco friendly kids while reconnecting as a family.
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.