“Although the magnitude of climate change may make individuals feel helpless, individual action is critical for meaningful change.”– Mia Armstrong, Student & New York Times contributor
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing our current and future generations, but there are simple ways you can begin making a positive change. You can start by teaching your children the importance of caring for the natural world.
After all, it’s our children who will be running this place someday! So changing their attitudes to reflect a more eco-conscious outlook on life is a great way to begin making a long-term impact.
Recycle at Home
Recycling is fun and the most common we teach our kids to be eco-conscious at a young age. Make recycling a ritual in your home. Teach your children to separate trash, rinse recyclables, and have different bins for each type (glass, plastic, paper, etc.).
Incentives always help! So have a contest between your kids to see who recycled the most each week. The winner gets a prize!
Encourage Outdoor Play
Get outside! It’s one of the best ways to encourage your children to be eco-conscious. You can instill a love and appreciation for nature and the outdoors at a very young age.
Take your kids to parks, out fishing, for bike rides, and on trails or camping. A child who loves the outdoors will be more aware of personal behaviors and habits that might impact the natural world. It will be easier for them to have respect for the environment and a desire to protect it.
Once children develop a sense of their own style, it’s natural for them to want to pick out their own clothes and have more of a say in what they wear.
As this phase kicks in, you can help your children understand the importance of eco-friendly clothing habits. Fast fashion, for example, is a major contributor to air pollution and carbon emissions every year. So teach your children to purchase clothing responsibly and invest in high-quality clothing that can be worn for, not just months, but years.
Pollution has as great an impact on animals as it does on humans. If your child has a particular love or fascination with animals, it’s important you explain to him that we must protect our environment to protect wildlife. Show your children how waste can hurt animals and make it unsafe for them to live in their natural habitats.
See if your community has any wildlife conservation programs for children. These programs are a great way to safely expose children to natural wildlife up close! They are often run by park districts and conservation groups, so you can expect your kids to learn about eco-friendly practices while also interacting with the animals they love.
There is nothing kids love more than getting their hands dirty!
A great way to raise an eco-conscious family is to teach your children about sustainable gardening. Show them how recycled waste can be turned into plant food through composting, and have them take biodegradable waste to the compost pit themselves.
You can help your children become more eco-conscious by teaching them different ways to get from point A to point B. Some distances are so far we have to drive, but around the neighborhood, you can use eco-friendly options.
Walk your children to a friend’s house or ride bikes down to the park. Utilize public transportation or ride-sharing options whenever possible. Talk with your kids about how this helps conserve fuel and prevents air pollution.