All The Ways You Can Teach Kids About Sustainability
We’re becoming increasingly aware of the impact we have on the planet. Parents need to make sure they are living sustainably and teach kids about sustainability. This way, their children understand the importance of preserving our resources and learn how they can make small changes in their everyday lives, right from the beginning, to help make a difference.
If parents teach kids about sustainability from an early age and encourage them to take climate-conscious decisions, their kids will grow up with sustainable practices ingrained into their minds as a way of life.
However, teaching kids about sustainability can be tricky. First, we need to help them understand what sustainability is. Though it’s a broad concept, sustainability boils down to understanding the impact we have on the earth and what we leave for future generations. There are plenty of ways to teach kids about sustainability, no matter their age. The best way to do that is to start small.
1. Spend Time in Nature
There are many great places to appreciate nature, like botanical gardens and natural playgrounds. Walking around the gardens and appreciating the trees, plants, and wildlife is a great activity for the whole family! Being around nature will help kids equate the outdoors with fun, making them more likely to respect nature and adopt more sustainable habits. Once they begin respecting and enjoying being around nature, it will become much easier for parents to teach kids about sustainability.
Some activities that you can participate in while being around nature are:
- Playing outdoor games like football, catch, cricket
- Having a weekly family picnic
- Going on nature walks to botanical gardens
2. Plant More Trees and Seeds
Gardening with your children can be a whole lot of fun! Gardening with children is a great way to have fun while teaching them about nature. Children are natural explorers and find joy in simple things, like planting seeds or searching for earthworms. Gardening doesn’t have to be expensive, complicated, or time-consuming. With just a few minutes per week, you can grow a simple garden project with your child.
As parents, you already know that the joy of watching something you planted yourself grow up is unparalleled. There is no doubt that your child, too, will be extremely excited to partake in the gardening activities and wait for their plants to grow into big trees or bear fruit. Who knows, maybe they can even develop a hobby out of it!
Encouraging kids to grow their own garden also helps them to learn responsibility and, if you plant food plants, it can also promote healthy eating habits that will stay with them even when they’re grown up.
3. Recycle Using Arts & Crafts
One really fun way to teach kids about sustainability is to engage them in art activities where you recycle different items.
Recycling is a great way to help the environment, and kids love to do crafts. You can use recycled objects to make crafts and teach your kids about the benefits of recycling. This could include:
- Turning a plastic bottle into a pen stand
- Making bowls out of paper mache
- Converting old t-shirts into grocery bags
- Creating photo frames out of ice cream sticks
In fact, a quick Google search can help you find out a plethora of craft ideas which involve recycling products you don’t need anymore. Not only does this help the environment, but it also gives children a creative outlet. To encourage your children to recycle more waste items, you can designate a shelf in the house where you display all their wonderful work!
4. Reduce Excessive Consumption of Resources
Every day, the way we use resources puts our planet in danger. That’s why, when we teach kids about sustainability, it’s also important to educate them on how they can help minimize the impact. Teach them to turn off the lights when they leave the room. Talk about how fluorescent light bulbs and LED lighting lasts longer and save more energy than traditional light bulbs.
You may also want to remind your kids to unplug all devices when they’re not using them to save on energy. It’s also important to reduce the amount of water you use as it helps sustain freshwater supplies, which are already in critical condition. Encourage your children to take shorter showers and turn off the water while they brush their teeth.
5. Lead by Example!
The most effective method to teach kids about sustainability – or anything else – is to put it into practice yourself. Everything starts at home, so if you want your children to adopt eco-friendly practices, you need to lead by example.
Use reusable products instead of plastic ones, like cloth napkins, dishes, mugs, and shopping bags. Explain to your children how damaging plastic is to the planet. If you want to see a change in the way your kids think about sustainability, start with how you act and talk about it. Kids learn by copying what they see around them, so if you make sustainability a priority, they will too.
At Kosh, we aim to bring up a conscious generation by helping their parents become conscious, through various workshops and parenting counseling sessions.
If you’d like to learn more, avail a counseling session with one of our highly experienced parenting coaches today!