Sustainability is more than a lifestyle choice for most – it is a necessity. One of the best things we can do to live a successfully sustainable life is to impart the same values to our kids. Learning why and how to live a sustainable life at an early age is an incredible way to help your children learn habits that will benefit them and the planet throughout their lives.
It is important to make teaching children about sustainability fun. If they view it as a chore, they will be less likely to truly absorb what you’re trying to educate them on. Finding creative and engaging ways to teach your kids can be tough, particularly if it is a subject you’re not very well versed in yourself, but there are plenty of resources available to help.
Getting outdoors can be a great way to help teach your kids about nature and the importance of protecting it. Getting into nature can also help nurture a love of the outdoors in your kids, resulting in increased respect for nature and a desire to protect it. Consider taking your kids to a local park and pointing out the different plants, trees, flowers, and insects you see. You could also take family camping trips or visit local natural landmarks. The important thing is to instil positive associations with nature.
Make Recycling Fun
Teaching kids about recyclable and non-recyclable waste can help them understand and maintain recycling habits throughout their lives. You’ll need to teach them about separating different recyclable materials and where they can be recycled. You could help them decorate your indoor recycling bins and make it a competition to see who can split up their recycling best. You could also reuse recyclable items like cardboard and paper for craft activities.
Travel By Bike
Cycling is one of the best options for emissions-free transport. Teaching your kids about bikes and instilling a love of cycling can be a great way to help them make sustainable transport choices in the future. You could take family trips to the park on bikes and make short trips by bike instead of taking the car. For instance, you could cycle with them to school, friends’ houses, or shops.
Teach them About Electric Cars
An electric car is a major investment, so it may not be practical yet for you to buy one for your family. However, it is very likely that the only vehicles your kids will ever own will be electric, so it is a good idea to start teaching them about electric vehicles early in their lives.
This can be a good thing to learn about as a family if you’re not particularly knowledgeable yet yourself. There are plenty of resources out there, like ElectriX’s excellent helpful articles on everything from charging speed times for electric vehicles to how to plan a road trip in an electric car.
Look for Non-Plastic Options when Shopping
It is a good idea to help kids understand which items in the supermarket are sustainable and which are not. This can often be challenging even for adults, so if they learn what to look for as a child, it will make it so much easier for them. You will need to do some research yourself so that you can ensure the things you choose are truly sustainable. You can make this into a game while shopping by assigning each kid an item from your shopping list and asking them to bring you whichever item they think is most sustainable.
Give them their own Section in the Garden
Teaching kids to grow things is another excellent way to help them care about the planet. It can also instil good habits for the future, helping them grow their own gardens one day. Giving each child a little section of the garden to call their own can be a great way to encourage creativity and responsibility. You can let them choose all the plants they want to grow there and help them tend them from seeds to full-grown plants.
Try Out a Vegan Diet
A healthy balanced diet is crucial for growing kids, and a vegan diet can be one of the healthiest. However, knowing the right things to feed your kids is vital if you want to transition to a wholly vegan diet and ensure they get all the foods they need to grow healthy and strong. If you’re concerned you may not be able to go vegan fully, you could consider mixing vegan meals with those containing dairy and meat or having dedicated vegan days at home.
Teaching kids about sustainability can be hugely beneficial and fun for both you and them. It is essential to make your lessons as kid friendly as possible and explain the reasons for the necessity in terms they will understand. Many kids might find the idea of weather and climate change, global warming, and pollution to be frightening, particularly once they know the implications of the terms. While helping them understand the reasons for living sustainably is crucial, it is also important to use age-appropriate explanations so that learning stays fun.
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