Teaching Children To Protect The Environment
I grew up in the 80's & 90's. By the time I was old enough to stay up to watch prime time tv, and figure out how to switch to MTV, protecting our environment had become a major cause.
I'll be honest most of what I learned about conserving water, closing the refrigerator door, turning off the lights, 5 minute showers, etc came from 30 minute sitcoms.
I still do what I can where I can. Recycling, washing cloths on cool, turning of lights and TV before leaving the room.
The main difference I notice between doing these acts then and now is that as a child every environmentally friendly act I did left with with a happy, positive feeling. I was doing something good and I wanted to do more.
Today there is so much fear regarding the health and well being of earth. As Leo grows up I want to teach him to understand and protect the planet. But how do I not only make it a fun and encouraging but also informative and accurate?
I reached out to some other like minded Moms to get their thoughts on how to teach our kids to be environmentally conscious. Here's their great feedback!
Lead By Example
Your kids do what they see you do. So if you turn off faucet while brushing you teeth, put on a sweater instead of cranking up the heat, recycle, etc these things will be learned behavior and stick with them long after they go off on their own.
If trees, grass, puddles, flowers aren't important to your child then it's not important in their minds to preserve it. If nature is part of what make life fun and their childhoods great then there is lots of motivation to make sure these things stay in tact for generations to come.
Teach Them How The Planet Works
Why is the sky blue, why does it rain, why is it warm in the summer and cold in the winter, where does snow come from and why isn't it everywhere? It's all pretty cool when you break it down. Our planet has plenty of hidden mind blowing scientific facts to discover. It's all pretty amazing when you put it all together. If we know how it all works then we have a better understanding of why each piece of the puzzle is so important.
Having a hands on experience of where food comes from and just how much effort it takes to make plants grow reinforces why we shouldn't waste food and balance just how much we eat for the sake of our footprint on the planet.
Walk Or Bike (When You Can)
Going to a friends house for a play date or to the park a few blocks away. Leave the car in the driveway and walk over. Not only does it teach your kids to consider walking instead of driving it gives them a chance to get some exercise in the process. It's also a perfect time to have some fun. Play i-spy or another observing game while you walk or bike. Maybe even make up your own special game.
Donate Toys And Purchase Toys From Community Groups
Let's face it plastic lasts forever! Your child may have outgrown their slide, swing or basketball hoop but that doesn't mean the item is trash. Donate old toys to charities or schools and purchase "new" toys from online community groups. I've acquired almost all of Leo's outdoor toys from local resale groups online. All for no more than $10 each. If I bought them new, combined, it would have cost a few hundred dollars. All are in great condition and I feel really good knowing I kept these items out of a landfill.
What are your tips and tricks for teaching children to be environmentally conscious? We'd love to hear from you.