Raising eco-conscious kids is more important now than ever.
Imagine if you had learned everything you know about sustainability and eco-friendly living when you were a child?
I know my life would have been drastically different. All the routines and habits you’ve made as an adult to preserve resources and make informed environmental decisions would have been simply the way you grew up.
Habits and routines so ingrained in your life you would hardly think of them at all because they make you who you are.
Like if you had given up drinking straws 15 years ago or never bought hard-to-dispose of products.
If you could have avoided a lot of the environmental mistakes you’ve made over the years because your parents valued the environment and taught you how to make more educated decisions.
Our kids are watching everything we do whether we like it or not. We are showing them every day what we value and what is worth our time.
They will ultimately make their own choices and opinions about everything they do but it’s our job to show them what’s important to us and why.
To raise eco-conscious kids we don’t need them to follow our ways of life blindly.
Instead, we need to provide them with context about why we care about the environment.
It takes time to raise eco-conscious kids. It’s not something that will happen overnight. But with a series of small habits, you can open the door to sustainability over time and your kids may run with it.
Incorporate sustainability into kids’ everyday lives so it becomes second nature to them.
Your goal is to consider your everyday actions and make them as eco-friendly as possible and let your kids in on those decisions and choices.
How do you raise an environmentally conscious child? Here are 4 ways to get started today.
REPAIR BROKEN ITEMS
When something breaks, gets a hole or rips, try to repair instead of throwing away.
Repairing items shows our kids that we value what we have and accept the responsibility of taking care of it. And that means fixing things when they break.
Explain to your kids that throwing things away is wasteful and we should avoid it at all costs by caring for our things.
Kids usually catch on to this idea pretty quickly and are amazed by fixing things. Run with their excitement!
SMALLER PORTIONS = LESS FOOD WASTE
Parents are often complaining about the amount of food they waste because their kids don’t eat it all or it ends up all over the floor.
The easiest and most sustainable solution I can give is to give kids smaller portions.
Only give kids what you know they’ll be able to eat at that moment. Let them know that you will be giving them smaller food portions so you can cut down on food waste.
Of course if your kids are still hungry they may have more food but it’s a simple way to reduce food waste (and save money).
FLAT OUT REFUSE SOME THINGS
Flat out refuse to bring certain items into your home or donate them immediately so they don’t become clutter.
An example is party favor bags filled with little toys and candy. I usually let my kids take 1 or 2 items and then we donate the rest via our Facebook Buy Nothing Group.
A few other examples are straws, plastic bags, individually wrapped snacks, paper napkins, plastic cutlery, and free trinkets from events.
SPEND TIME IN NATURE
Kids love nature. You can tell because they’re in awe of everything they see, which is why it takes 2 hours to walk down the block with a kid.
Everything about nature is new to them and they want to know it all. If we want our kids to be eco-friendly then we need to indulge their curiosity for nature.
Answer their questions and get their thoughts about it so they can form their own opinions. When you don’t know the answer to their question, look it up together.
Having a nature encyclopedia or nature information book is great for this.
Let them play outside for as long as they want. Let them be amazed by nature’s mystery and magic and discover what they’re most interested in.
Our lives are dominated by screens these days so let your kids spend quiet and unstructured time in nature.
That means let them run free in the backyard without a plan or go to a park field and let them discover the area for themselves.
Provide them with the opportunity to create their relationship with nature and they’ll nurture that relationship for a lifetime.
Raising eco-conscious kids doesn’t need to be stressful. But it should be a family affair.
If you want your kids to value the environment and take care of it, you need to show them how through your everyday actions.
What you do each day will show them how important you think your actions are.
If you marvel at nature and actively reduce your food waste then they’ll catch on and see that those efforts are worth your time so there must be something to it.
We have to lead by example if we want to raise kids who will protect our environment and make a difference.
What are some ways you encourage your kids to be eco-conscious? Share down below in the comments! Don’t forget to pin this post to Pinterest!