Most if not all parents have a desire to raise their children to develop meaningful life habits. A great place to start when it comes to positive habit development is with sustainability. Teaching your children to take care of our planet will help instill lifelong traits of both leadership and responsibility. If you’re hoping to raise some eco-friendly activists in your home, consider these tips below for teaching your kids about sustainability.
Less, Not Excess
There is something to be said about raising children to be content with what they have. Though cultivating a mindset at home of “less is more” might be a concept you’re already familiar with, there are many fun ways to teach your children this mentality. Helping your children to be content with less will lower harmful manufacturing costs in the long run, thus lessening their impact. One great tip for doing this is by placing a value on the importance of giving. Take note of the items they no longer play with and encourage your children to donate old toys often. Take them with you to do local volunteer work in the community. Whether this work involves providing meals for the less fortunate or helping to build a local garden, volunteering will teach your kids to appreciate all that they have. A more simple route is to be mindful of how often you say thank you to your partner and guests in your home. Take every opportunity to be an example of gratefulness, and your children will truly understand that less is better than excess.
The impact textile waste has on our planet is a steadily growing problem, and connecting the dots between our textile waste and climate crisis is a great lesson. Teaching your kids to shop secondhand is a powerful way to reduce the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come from manufacturing. Diverting textile waste from ending up in landfills also reduces methane emissions, emitted by landfills, that are accelerating our climate crisis. Educate our children of all ages on the impact textile waste has on the planet and encourage them, by our own example to thrift their clothes, is a great lesson. Teens today have an eye for fun, vintage, looks and will most likely enjoy looking for lightly used outfits to add to their wardrobe. Even if your teen has an eye for the finer things, they’ll be able to thrift great name brands by utilizing online consignment shops like thredUP. Lastly, if your kids are on the younger side, take them out to a local thrift store, and make a game out of finding hidden antique treasures. The more your kids start to enjoy thrifting, the less of an impact they’ll have on the planet!
Get them outside
One reason it’s hard to raise children who truly value our planet is because they tend to spend little time outdoors. If you haven’t done so already, and even if you have, a fun summer family adventure is camping. Whether it’s in your own backyard or at a nearby campground, make it a simple summer goal to experience more fresh air. Get excited about the outdoors and your kids are guaranteed to share in your excitement as well. Find a nearby hiking trail that you know will end in a great view of your surroundings, and use it as a way to teach your kids about the importance of fighting deforestation. Whether you use the outdoor time as a teaching moment, or you simply encourage finding a place to plant a family tree at home, making use of time outside is a great way to develop a sustainable mindset.
Plant & Compost
Developing a system of compost recycling at home and even taking it one step further by planting an at-home garden are great ways to help your kids truly appreciate sustainability. Whether you purchase a composting system or make your own, turning your kitchen waste into fertilizer will help your recycling endeavors come full circle. Be sure to walk through each step with your kids to show them how their daily trash can actually be recycled into growing fresh fruits and veggies. Both of these processes will help children feel more in touch with the environment, and hopefully will give them greener thumbs!
Let us know how YOU teach your kids to be more sustainable and mindful!