Kids are great, they’re funny, usually have no filter and are pretty smart. They absorb a lot of information in their little brains when they are growing up. In some cases this may not be what you want when you accidentally drop a swear word, but it can be very beneficial for starting healthy habits. Healthy habits are important for a healthy life and can be anything from remembering to eat their vegetables to making eco-friendly choices.
Getting kids involved in sustainable actions is a great way to make sure our planet ends up in the best hands. Our youngest generations are the future of our planet and are going to be the ones living in our mess if we don’t make some changes. The first step is getting our younger generations to start adopting sustainable habits early on, so they can grow up with them and make it a part of everyday life. Get them involved in your routine so they can turn your habitats into theirs.
- Spend time in nature. Getting your kids outside and into nature is a great way to feed their curiosity while also teaching them to be a friend to the environment. Connecting them with the outside world builds a relationship of respect that will grow with them through the years. Learning about where our water flows from or why native plants are important is a great way to start their eco-friendly journey.
- Recycle & compost. Recycling and composting are a great way to get your kids involved in an eco-friendly lifestyle. Learning about the process of recycling and why it is important is a fun way to introduce a sustainable lifestyle. Get them involved in separating the recycling from the garbage so it becomes a habit for them. Getting kids involved in turning the compost pile and showing them how food scraps turn into compost is educational and fun. For extra fun try a vermicomposter, who doesn’t love a worm farm!
- Conserve food & water. Show your kids how to save their uneaten food or drinks using reusable containers. Saving that half eaten apple will teach them to reduce their food waste by being able to come back to it later. Pack their lunches and snacks in the reusable containers so it becomes the norm for them. Using a reusable water bottle in a fun pattern is also a great idea.
- Get them involved in eco-friendly transportation. If you live close to your kids school or daycare, try getting them into walking with you to show them that cars aren’t always needed. For older kids, try getting them into biking to school to reduce their carbon footprint. Not only is walking or biking a great way to get them involved in eco-friendly transportation but it is also a great way to sneak in some exercise and put away the screens for a while.
- Start a garden. Planting and growing your own vegetables gives kids an idea of where their food comes from. Knowing what goes into growing their food and seeing it happen right in front of them, allows them to create the connection between a healthy environment and the food that they eat. The garden is another place to reduce your carbon footprint by erasing the need for transportation to your grocery store. Gardening is a fun activity for the whole family!
- Create DIY projects. Use recycled materials to create new fun projects. Instead of going out and buying a craft kit, try making some crafts of your own out of recycled materials. Try painting some old glass bottles to make some new vases or use your extra cardboard to create a play fort. This helps kids learn that not everything is trash and that unexpected items can be turned into something awesome!
- Clean up after themselves. Teaching kids to clean-up after themselves is important when raising eco-friendly kids. Cleaning-up after themselves when they are outside is especially important to get rid of litter. Show them the proper ways to dispose of their waste when out and about so they can do their part to reduce litter in the world. Try setting up a litter pick-up day for your kids to participate in.
- Get them involved in community projects. Try finding a kids club that is involved in environmental initiatives. The Helen Schuler Nature Centre is a great resource for kids to get involved in and learn about the environment they live in. It’s educational and fun for them to be involved in.
Making things fun and enjoyable will make adopting eco-conscious habits for your kids a little easier. As with anything in the green living world, start small and work your way to a larger goal. Sustainability for kids doesn’t have to be anything extreme. Teach them about the environment and get them involved in activities that take place outside. Connecting the habits that they are forming with something that they enjoy, like playing outside, is a sure fire way to raise eco-conscious kids.