Parenting today is never a walk in the park. There are a thousand worries a day that fall on the shoulders of a modern parent. Balancing professional and personal life, finding the time to spend with your kids, teaching them to behave and instilling positive values into their developing minds, all the while preserving a peaceful, well-functioning home is a tough challenge.
One of the biggest challenges, extremely important in this day and age, is teaching your children to love, respect, and nurture the environment. In the modern world, environmentalism is no longer an option. It is an imperative if we are to preserve the only home we have for the generations to come.
With that in mind, here is how you can teach your kids to protect the environment.
Teach them to love the outdoors
With technology reaching unprecedented popularity and sophistication, children are increasingly becoming slaves to their digital companions. The glaring smartphone and computer screens are doing little for their development and well-being. They are also not contributing to their relationship and happiness.
This is why you should find a way to get them outside and teach them to love the great outdoors. Don’t expect them to inherently love nature. Kids aren’t perfect. Instead, teach them to appreciate the beauty and endless potential of Mother Nature.
The essentials of recycling
Once they learn to love the greenery and all of nature’s little creatures, they will have a much easier time adapting to a “recycle, reuse, repurpose” way of life. If you just tell them to throw paper into the paper basket, they might do it, only because they were told to and not because they truly understand why that is important.
It might seem like a harsh thing to do, but this is also a good time to show them exactly how human impact is changing the environment. Search online for some raw photos and videos of plastic-laden beaches and melting polar icecaps in order to impress upon them the importance of recycling.
Conserving energy around the house
This leads to the next crucial point – energy conservation. Children are not inherently aware of the impact of burning light bulbs or leaving the TV on when nobody is watching it, and you shouldn’t expect them to know how their negligence is affecting the environment or your budget.
Instead, spend time talking to them why turning off the lights or taking a shorter shower is important. Being a real storyteller goes a long way, so don’t just give them the facts, but rather tell them stories about animals who have less water to drink, or polar bears without a home, or a weeping forest that’s being cut down because of increased energy use.
Eating and nurturing organic foods
One of the most important aspects of an eco-friendly lifestyle is the type of foods you and your children eat. Sustainable, organic foods should be at the top of your grocery list, and your children should understand early on why organic food matters to their long-term health, as well as the health of the environment.
A good idea is to embark on a field trip and take them to local organic farms where farmers can teach them about the importance of sustainability.
Doing chores with natural cleaning products
Commercial cleaners have no place in a healthy, eco-friendly home. They are filled to the brim with abrasive, toxic chemicals. Not only are they harmful to the environment, but they are downright dangerous to your children and their developing bodies. Instead, teach them the value of cleaning with natural ingredients such as baking soda, lemon zest, and vinegar.
Sharing is caring
A child who knows how to share will grow into a happy, caring adult who knows how to give love and receive selflessly. A child who understands the value of sharing understands the value of preserving. Teach your child why giving away their old toys and clothes to those in need is important, and you will have resolved many a misbehavior issues and instilled a lifelong habit into their heart.
Volunteering in green activities
Lastly, a child should learn the value of selfless contribution. Too often, children are overly self-absorbed to the point that they become completely indifferent towards their fellow human beings and animals. We should never allow this trait to persist. Simply take part in some green activities together. You will then have no problem teaching them how to protect the environment.
A child is definitely not a blank canvas. Still, you can be the key influence in their lives that will determine the course of their future. Be a positive role model and help them grasp the importance of environmentalism – their future depends on it.