All parents want to raise compassionate children. We teach them to care about people. We encourage them to be kind to animals. But, what about showing kids how to be considerate of our planet?
It's never too early to start instilling the values of recycling, conserving water, reducing trash, loving animals and keeping the air clean. Children of all ages can incorporate these concepts into their daily lives. Try to make it a family affair. When your children see you performing caring acts for the environment, they'll be even more encouraged to do the same.
Kids love getting dirty, so asking them to plant seeds in your yard should be met with enthusiasm. Talk to them about how the sun and rain help plants to grow. Watch their eyes light up at the first sign of a sprout.
No one wants to play in a park or playground that's filled with trash. Consider grabbing some rubber gloves and helping to beautify your local outdoor areas. Let your children know that having a safe and healthy place to play is good for their community as well as the environment.
Instead of filling up your trash with every empty container, commit to keeping some of them for crafting projects. An egg carton can be used to sort coins, beads or other objects. Or, use it as a paint palette. Milk cartons can transform into bird feeders. A large cardboard box can become a cool go-cart. Get more ideas from Mister Rogers.
Give children a task when buying groceries or going to the store. Have them carry a favorite backpack or take along reusable bags. After all, how many plastic bags do we really need to keep in the pantry?
Walking and bike-riding are great ways to contribute to the environment's well-being. In addition to saving gas and reducing the emission of harmful fumes, your children will get lots of exercise.
Visit your local library or bookstore for an endless choice of books related to nature and protecting the earth. Need some recommendations? See our Bookfinder.
Little ones like turning on the faucet, but they don't always remember to turn it off. Tell them that letting water run unnecessarily means it's being wasted. There's no need for a full discussion on water conservation. Just keep it simple. If your kids are older, let Hector, from Meet the Greens give them the lowdown on saving water. He doesn't say much, but your kids will get the message.