Northeast Wisconsin
  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • April 2016
Written by 

How to raise eco-conscious kids

Protecting the planet is a global responsibility that requires the cooperation of every man, woman and child. Many eco-conscious adults likely adapted their lifestyles over the last several decades, when the movement to live in a more eco-friendly way took off as more and more people recognized the importance of protecting the environment. Parents who want to instill that lesson in their children at an early age can do so in various ways.

Turn time outdoors with your kids into teaching opportunities. The great outdoors provides a great opportunity to teach kids about the environment and how to protect it. If you like to garden, come planting season explain to your children that planting native plants benefits the environment because such plants have already adapted to the local climate, meaning they won’t need as much water to thrive as non-native plants. If you enjoy camping as a family, explain the importance of leaving nothing behind at your campsite. Parents can even volunteer their families for weekend park and beach cleanups, using these outings as opportunities to teach kids about the dangers of littering.

Make recycling a priority at home. One of the easiest ways to get even young kids actively involved in protecting the planet is to make recycling a priority at home. Many communities already mandate that residents recycle, so explain to kids why recycling is the law. If your community does not have laws regarding recycling, recycle at home anyway, dropping your bottles, cans and other recycled items off at the local recycling center. Such centers may pay for recycled bottles and cans, and parents can incentivize recycling by giving kids any money the family earns through its recycling efforts.

Use a water filter at home. Water filters also provide a simple way to teach kids about the value of protecting the planet. According to The Water Project, a nonprofit organization that provides reliable water projects to communities in sub-Saharan Africa, bottles used to package water take more than 1,000 years to biodegrade. Parents can explain to kids that opting for water filters at home can drastically reduce human consumption of water bottles that are destined to end up in landfills, where they will remain for centuries. When traveling, fill up reusable bottles and travel mugs with water rather than buying bottled water during pit stops, explaining to kids how bringing your own water is helping the planet.

Park the car and ride bikes more often. Another fun way to teach kids to be more eco-friendly is to stop driving everywhere and ride bikes when possible. Short car trips burn substantial amounts of fuel and put a lot of wear and tear on a vehicle over time, making the vehicle operate less efficiently. Rather than taking the car to run weekend errands, hop on your bike and take the kids along on theirs. Explain to them how a fun activity like cycling is also very eco-friendly because it reduces fuel consumption and does not contribute to air pollution.

Parents who want to instill a love and respect for the environment in their kids can do so in various ways.


Source: MetroCreative Connection.

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