For many people, the goal of a green lifestyle is ensuring that the next generation will inherit a sustainable planet. In order to make that goal truly achievable, the next generation needs to be prepared to care for the earth as well. For many parents, the kids do a better job of teaching them to be sustainable, but that’s not the case in all parts of the world.
Instilling ecologically friendly habits in your kids will encourage them to grow up as responsible, thoughtful adults, and these earth-friendly tips will help reduce costs around the house as well.
10 Ways to Encourage Your Kids to Go Green
1. Cut down on paper. Let your kids color on junk mail, envelopes, cereal boxes or paper that’s been printed on. Encourage them to color on both sides and recycle paper when they’re done.
2. Encourage kids to walk or bicycle whenever possible. Teach them about public transportation and start car-pooling to school or using the school bus. This will also help them learn healthier exercise habits.
3. Take your kids shopping at second-hand stores. Teach them the value of buying used instead of new. Also, encourage them to donate their old clothes and toys and teach them the value of donating to charities.
4. Set up a family garden. Encourage everyone to participate in cultivating plant life. Teach your kids how to preserve foods through canning, pickling, freezing or other activities so you can put up foods for the winter.
5. Teach kids to turn it off. Kids are famous for leaving water on when they’re not using it, like between brushing their teeth or while shampooing in the shower. Also, encourage them to turn off lights when they leave the room and unplug electronics when they’re done with them.
6. Make crafts from recycled household objects. Encourage kids to build their own toys and incorporate reused items into day-to-day routines so they get in the habit of reusing items rather than throwing them away.
7. Take them to pick up trash. Whether around the neighborhood or local parks, this is good exercise and a good lesson. Sign up for group events to pick up trash with community clean-up organizations or 4-H groups.
8. Take kids to the local library. Teach them to pick out books and DVDs instead of buying new all of the time. If your child is an avid reader, you might consider buying her an e-reader when she gets older.
9. Enjoy nature. Encourage your kids to play outside. Better yet, go outside and play with them. Enjoy picnics in the park, go stargazing or take your kids fishing. The more time kids spend in nature, the more likely they’ll be to want to protect and preserve it.
10. Explain why you do things. Kids are sponges for knowledge, and they love knowing how and why things work. Try to have a thoughtful answer available when your child asks why you do things like recycle or take public transportation. Teaching your kids the reasons behind these behaviors will help cement their importance in their minds.
Kids that learn eco-friendly behaviors young in life will be more likely to continue those habits well into adulthood and pass these same values along to their own children and grandchildren. Only by educating our children can we guarantee the health of our planet in the long-term.
These family friendly green tips are from NannyBackgroundCheck.com, where families can check to be sure they are choosing a safe, responsible sitter.