We all want to raise great children… from respect for themselves, to respect for others, to respecting this amazing planet we live on… we can all likely agree that we just want them to live in a happy, healthy world. I believe there are 10 simple ways to help us raise happy, green kids… so let’s just get to it…
- Make recycling a habit – teaching children, early on, what is trash and what is recyclable and making it a simple practice at home will inevitably lead them to carry this knowledge throughout life and put it to good use.
- Teach respect for the environment, wildlife & nature – whether it’s reading books that teach them about preserving the world around them, taking nature hikes or simple little discussions, your kids are sponges and will know why to make good choices and see what we are setting out to preserve… and they’ll love it!
- Green craft – from habits like using both sides of the paper for drawing to creating crafts and art with recycled materials, your little artist will realize that the greatest masterpieces don’t require expensive trips to the craft store… reusing materials is both fun and environmental.
- Give lessons in the three r’s – it’s not just reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic anymore: reuse, reduce and recycle opportunities are around every corner. Lead them in the right direction, explain why this is a “green mantra” and soon those decisions will become automatic.
- Teach about waste & not over-consuming – turning off water when it’s not being used (brushing teeth!), shutting off unneeded lights, taking only what you need, etc… these habits can be practiced by even the smallest of environmentalists!
- Help them master the art of giving – teach them the beauty of passing on those toys, games, books and clothes that are no longer needed or wearable. Explain how this helps others that don’t have as much as they do and why getting the full life out of everything keeps useful “trash“ from being sent to landfills.
- Plant together – whether it’s a full garden, a tree or a simple pot of flowers or vegetables, kids love to watch things grow (I know I still do!) and learn to appreciate where everything comes from. You can even plan a trip to a farmer’s market and explain the benefits of organic and locally-grown produce to reduce the effects on us and our environment… they’ll “get it”!
- Organize challenges & activities – every kid loves a challenge. Set-up anything from a week-long challenge to reduce the amount of trash you create to a one-night challenge to see who can take the shortest (yet still effective!) shower… they’ll jump at the chance to be a winner!
- Volunteer together – whether it’s a large community event to learn and participate or a family organized activity (like cleaning up the trash at a local park or walking trail), there are opportunities everywhere and they’ll see that these efforts go far beyond our own backyards.
- Lead by example – “Monkey see, monkey do”… kids notice everything, so when you make the right choices, it simply becomes a part of who they are and it will last their lifetime…
Believe me, all of this happened to me and poof!… like magic… Mom Goes Green!