Five Ways to Teach Kids to Be Green, Naturally

Five Ways to Teach Kids to Be Green, Naturally

It’s great that children are taught to think green when they’re at school, but how much of that do they remember when they come home? You listen to their great enthusiasm to reduce, recycle, reuse and – the latest slogan – refuse, then turn around and put the empty tin can straight in with the general garbage.

Unless our children see parents and guardians really working on green planning at home, they will believe it to be a school mantra for use only when it suits. Here are some simple ways in which we can practice what we preach and involve the entire household in regular green activities.

1: Turn the Light Off

How often have you walked around your home when the kids are playing outside to find lights on all over the house? Not only is this damaging to the environment, but it’s an even bigger loss from your bank account when the electricity bill lands in your mailbox.

Show your children the lights they have left on. Magically prove that if the lights are turned off, there’s still enough natural daylight to fill the room. After all, children’s eyesight is often better than adults’, so a few less light bulbs on won’t hurt their eyesight long term. And there’s no harm in appealing to self-interest by explaining that the more you save on the electricity bill, the more there will be in your wallet to buy their birthday and Christmas presents.

2: Save Water

It’s great when children brush their teeth at least twice a day, but why do you hear the sound of running water from the moment they go into the bathroom until they leave a few minutes later? Children have a fascination for running water. It’s a plaything.

Teaching kids to turn off the water supply while brushing teeth can be easily achieved, but you also need to show them how much water is going down the drain – literally! Allow them to run the water like they usually do and collect that water in a bucket or two. When they’ve finished brushing, show them how much water they’ve wasted. It’s easier for children to see the consequences of their actions than just explain them.

3: Carpooling

Apart from safety and security, do you have to deliver and collect your child from school every day of every semester? Is there an efficient carpooling service at your school? If not, start one. Show your children that by joining together with friends’ moms and dads, they can have a fun time going to school while saving the environment from excess carbon emissions.

4: Fix For Free

When a zipper goes on a school bag, you usually just run out to the store and buy a new bag. But what message are we giving children about waste? Surely there’s a better lesson – being careful with money and goods.

It’s much better to save money by not throwing away repairable goods. This also means fewer items going into landfill. Instead of tossing the bag in the garbage can, check with the manufacturer to see if they sell the small part you need to fix the problem. If not, perhaps there is a local repair shop that can help you out.

5: Teaching Children Environmental Responsibility

You can help your children by teaching them to become more responsible for aspects of environment and health as they get older. Younger kids can start with small household tasks (a kid of any age can put paper in the recycling bin) while your high schooler can take on much larger everyday jobs. You’ll be surprised how much they enjoy being a major part of the household.

Asking children to shop for food to provide balanced, healthy meals will help cut down on childhood obesity and will build good social and environmental skills for the future. They can learn to look for local food and to refuse unnecessary packaging that some stores appear to believe we all love so much.

By helping our children early, not only can we keep more money in our current bank accounts but we can set them on the right path for a greener, more responsible life.

Advertisements
Comments
2 Responses to “Five Ways to Teach Kids to Be Green, Naturally”
  1. Dawn says:

    My kids take waste free lunches to school in their Laptop Lunches bento boxes which has made them very aware of waste and has really gotten them interested in getting involved in protecting the environment. You should check them out: http://www.laptoplunches.com.

  2. Green Home says:

    Another great kid-friendly lunch container is OOTS! Reusable Lunchbox Kit:
    http://www.greenhome.com/products/housekeeping/food_storage/119063/.

    These kits are sustainable and eco-friendly and a practical and stylish alternative to wasteful plastic bags.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: