Every family that does eco-friendly things is contributing to the sustainability of the environment in some way. However, to make the most impact, we all need to encourage others to help with awareness, recycling and conservation practices–and what better way is there than to get your kids involved? If you start them young, you can teach them positive environmental habits that last a lifetime. Below, you’ll find a few ways to help your kids to cut their carbon footprint.
1. Set a good example: You are your child’s first role model, and it’s up to you to model green habits. If you want them to turn the lights off when they leave the room, set the example by doing it yourself. Further the green initiative by unplugging appliances when you’re not using them, and opening the windows instead of turning on the AC. The more your kids see you doing environmentally friendly things, the more they’ll want to imitate you.
2. Start recycling: Get them in on the act by giving them washable rags instead of paper towels, and by asking them to bring along the reusable bags when you go to the grocery store. Even preschoolers can help you separate paper, aluminum and glass on recycling day; help them make colorful boxes to make the sorting more fun.
3. Grow a garden: Most kids love to play in the dirt, and you can harness that by preparing and planting a garden. You’ll get them outside and active, and you’ll also show them how to save money on groceries. When your crops are ready, get them to help you harvest and enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of your labors!
4. Volunteer: If there’s a community environmental group, get your kids involved as soon as they’re able. If there’s a children’s group available, allow them to attend meetings so they can learn new ideas. They’ll come home with new experiences to share, and eco-friendly groups for kids provide wonderful opportunities for socialization.
5. Take them to the store: When you go shopping, take your kids along. Explain to them why you buy organic and recycled products, and help them understand the harmful effects that some cleaners have on the environment. Allow them to make age-appropriate choices, and help them get on the road to a smaller carbon footprint.
6. Air your (clean) laundry: Whenever it’s sunny out, show your kids that laundry can be dried in the breeze. Ask them to help you hang the clothes on the line, and to bring them in when they’re dry. When they know how to do the job themselves, they can further reduce their carbon footprint and save energy and money for later use.
It might sound cliché, but our children really are the future. As such, they need to learn environmentally friendly habits early. Explain the choices you make, and set a good example. As long as you provide them with a good reason for doing it, they’ll follow your example and retain the habit as they get older.
Written by James who is on the Juice Electrical’s marketing team, we try to involve kids in the environment related issues as much as we can.