Thursday, August 10, 2017

World Wisdom: Raising Eco-Friendly Kids, Do's and Don't's

When it comes to parenting, mothers and fathers want nothing less than the best for their children. This includes raising happy, healthy children who will one day leave a positive impact on their planet. One of the greatest ways to do this is to teach children how to appreciate and honor their environment. Here are some of our top do’s and don’ts when it comes to raising eco-friendly children. 

Do Teach Children to Preserve on Energy at Home
You do not have to live in a home already equipped with energy efficient appliances to maintain a green lifestyle. In fact, being eco-friendly starts with small adjustments that can add up to major wins. For instance, teach children how to conserve water by taking shorter showers or by turning off trickling faucets. Imparting habits in children that help to cut down on wastefulness helps to benefit the planet and preserve it for generations to come. Another helpful way to reduce energy consumption around the home is to have children turn off lights if they are not being used or to similarly unplug appliances that are not in use. Such actions will not only reduce a monthly utility bill, but children will learn valuable lessons on how to be gentle on their environment. 

Do Teach Children to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

Teaching children how to recycle is one of the cornerstones of protecting the planet. Recycling has many proven impacts that help to make the world a much healthier place. From improved air quality to reduced carbon footprints, recycling is a great way to encourage eco-friendliness. Start by recycling at home. Separate regular garbage from glass, plastics, and paper that can go in a recycling bin. Another approach is to encourage children to use re-usable canvas bags when grocery shopping instead of plastic bags that are harsh on the environment. Furthermore, teach children the importance of a do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. This may include fixing broken items around the home instead of simply throwing them away and purchasing new ones.   

Do Teach Children the Importance of Shopping Locally
Shopping locally is an important way to boost the local economy and to also help the environment. For example, make purchases from local farmer’s markets where possible. This will teach children the value of eating healthier, organically grown foods. Foods grown by local farmers tend to use little to no pesticides which is an eco-friendly approach that is good for both the body and the planet. Another great idea is to visit local thrift stores where children can witness the value of repurposing used goods and household items. Tied closely to reducing, reusing and recycling, parents can make a fun project out of reusing old items, which encourages thrifty, eco-friendly thinking in their little ones. 

Do Teach Children to Have Respect for the Outdoors
Respect for nature is an important concept that goes hand-in-hand with eco-friendly parenting. Teaching children healthy habits that incorporate respect for plant and animal life is a great way to protect and preserve the environment. For example, for families who love the outdoors teach children how to enjoy nature while not disturbing it. This may include refraining from picking plants, not interacting with wildlife, and by not leaving items behind such as garbage. Another great way to revere the outdoors is to plant a small garden. Tend the garden alongside children to teach them sustainable habits while also instilling a love for the natural world around them.

A Few Don’ts

First, don’t forget to involve the entire family. From older siblings to spouses and to extended family members, raising eco-friendly children is a team effort. For instance, the entire family can participate in community involvement or volunteerism where they help to protect the environment. This could include activities such as planting trees or finding eco-friendly non-profit organizations who need hands-on assistance with projects. Lending a helping hand in such a manner is a great way to instill childhood awareness of supporting the environment. Also, don’t forget to explain the whys behind eco-friendliness. Children learn by example supported by sound discussions on what they are learning Let children know early on that they can do their part by helping to save their planet. Small actions towards the right direction can make a huge impact on the world. Children can learn responsibility, compassion, as well as how to focus on things that matter the most such as maintaining a healthy planet. Overall, when it comes to going green, lessons on how to consume less and rely more on nature can help children embrace eco-friendly living in the same manner that you do.  

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