2 Simple Ways to Teach Your Kid to be Eco-friendly
The world, as we know it, is fast changing. Man’s continuous explorations and lack of consideration towards the environment has wrecked havoc on nature in ways unimagined. As a result, it has today become more important than ever to incorporate green practices in every aspect of our life and also inculcate that same habit in our children from a young age. Remember, every little action counts towards a better tomorrow for the next generation. Here are two simple ways to teach children how to respect, protect and cherish the world around us.
The Three Rs
“Reduce, reuse and recycle” is a mantra all green living experts swear by – and for a good reason. Did you know that recycling one plastic tin can save enough energy to operate a television for three hours? Or that it requires 70 percent less energy to recycle paper than manufacturing it from scratch?
The best part is that it is never too early to teach your kids the basic principles of reusing and recycling. Even kids as young as four years can be taught to separate recyclable and non-recyclable waste. To make it easier, get brightly colored bins for your home and write down on the sides what goes into each. Or draw colorful pictures or paste cut-outs that can help them remember.
Many items that are normally tossed into the bin, such as empty glass bottles or cardboard boxes, can also be repurposed into something useful. The Best Out of Waste website has 10 easy craft ideas for kids that require little or no adult help.
Instead of buying new toys for your children every time, encourage them to exchange their old ones with their friends. They get new toys, you save money, and nature breathes a huge sigh of relief! If you still have to buy new toys, opt for those which eco-friendly and are made of sustainable materials. For older kids, you can buy eco-science project kits – a great way to teach kids about solar energy, water management and so on.
Live as One with Nature
Inculcate a love and appreciation for nature in your child as early as possible because habits learned in the growing years stay with them for life. A child who grew up disconnected from the natural world will find it hard to care for the environment as an adult.
Kids love any opportunity to play outdoors and get their hands dirty. Get your child involved in gardening activities at home, and help him grow a green thumb by assigning him a separate garden space and making him responsible for taking care of a couple of plants.
Instead of spending your weekends at the nearest shopping mall or gaming arcade, help him enjoy the unblemished beauty of nature by taking him hiking, camping or visiting national parks. Instead of burdening his young mind with heavy concepts like ozone layer depletion or acid rain, point out how different elements of nature exist in harmony with one another when left alone.
And lastly and most importantly, lead by example. You are your child’s first and foremost role model and they will unconsciously mirror your own habits. So remember to live as you would like your child to live tomorrow.
Kurt Jacobson is a surfing enthusiast with a background in real estate. Having moved 10 times in the past 7 years, he thrives on helping others learn from his experiences. When he’s not out shredding waves he writes about homes for househunter.co.