7 Ways To Teach Your Kids About Sustainability
In an ever-changing world, it’s important to know how to teach your kids about emerging issues like climate change and sustainability. It can be complicated especially for children who might not be able to understand the situation right away. But don’t worry. There are many ways to help kids learn more about helping the earth heal.
- Teach through playing.
Turning lessons into games can be an effective way to help kids learn. It wouldn’t feel like they’re being forced to remember concepts. After all, it can be quite difficult for four-year-olds to understand the idea of having to reduce CO2 emissions. Plus, having fun makes for a productive bonding experience for the family. There are many products to choose from if you’re not up to creating your own game. You can try a sustainable play kit, board games, or even online games. It’s a helpful way to spend time with your children while helping them understand a little bit more about the world around them.
- Sign a pledge.
Signing a sustainability pledge can be helpful in getting kids to keep track of their day to day activities. Each pledge usually has a list of specific actions to be done or maintained. When you and your child sign up for one, you get to keep each other accountable for living by the pledge. Doing so also helps children learn the value of keeping promises and taking responsibility.
- Take them to a recycling center.
This is especially effective for kids who learn more through taking action rather than simply learning concepts. You can search for your nearest recycling center and pay a visit. There could also be workers there who are willing to give more information on how recycling works. It could give your child a more rounded idea of why it’s important to recycle. And what’s more, even you might be able to pick something up from it.
- Encourage reusing.
Sometimes, the barrier to reusing is the mentality of always wanting something new. As such, it’s important to instill a mind set that doesn’t look down on reusing old clothes or belongings. You can do this by visiting your local thrift store from time to time. Try to show your children the uniqueness of the items they can get there. You can also guide them when it comes to buying new purchases so that they wouldn’t be getting something that they already have. It’s also advisable to get products that are made to be reused. Moreover, if you’re able to set an example for them, your children are likely to follow suit.
- Teach through chores.
Chores are more than just things to do around the house. They are great avenues for teaching values. Some parents also think of them as a way of setting a good routine for their children. But more than just the usual dish washing and folding clothes, you can use these chores to teach them a few things about keeping the earth clean.
Throwing the Trash
Throwing out trash might seem as simple as it sounds. It may not be the most enjoyable chore either. But in keeping sustainability in mind, it’s important to teach your children how to segregate trash. This means that you need to provide more than one trash bin. It would be good to also label the bins accordingly so as to guide your children in keeping the biodegradables in one side and the non-biodegradables in the other.
There’s no denying that plants are important for the environment. That’s why this chore has to do more with keeping a garden. You can get them to water the plants on a regular schedule. It would also be fun create labels for each type of plant in the garden. If you want to take it a step further, you can grow a mini vegetable garden that you can harvest from. That way, you’re not only cutting costs but also saving any CO2 emissions that would have come from the car ride to the grocery. And if the confines of your own garden are not enough, you and your children can always join the next tree planting activity.
- Make it Homemade.
Anything homemade is born out of a labor of love. It also reduces the negative environmental impact that comes with mass-produced products. This is something that you can show your children when you create that crocheted cardigan for them. You might even find that homemade items last longer as they’re not made from cheap materials. Try looking for DIY projects to do with your kids—it’s also a great way to spend the weekend.
Learning has always had its roots in reading, even in school. As such, you can try to read books about the environment with your kids. That way, if they’re unable to understand a particular concept, you would be there to explain it.
Teaching sustainability doesn’t have to be mundane. It can be fun, and you might even find some add-on benefits that come with actually showing your children what sustainability is. At the end of the day, you would know the way your child learns the best—it’s up to you to choose how to teach them.