Kids witness their parents interact with the natural environment at every turn. Like most things in parenting, the best way to teach is by example. With that said it's important we become adept teachers and positive role models of green living. With Earth Day coming up, there's no better time then now to have conversations with our kids about what it means to live sustainability and begin teaching our kids (if we haven't already) how to adopt environmentally friendly habits. Here are just a few ideas we have to help raise earth-loving kids!
Plant a garden together
Planting and growing your own food teaches children where food comes from, encourages healthy eating, and fosters responsibility. And it can be a lot of fun! If you don't have room for a sprawling outdoor garden, try more compact options like container gardening, raised planter boxes, or an indoor windowsill garden. You can also take the kids down to your nearest farmers market or visit a local farm.
Kids are innately curious beings and most kids love getting their hands dirty, so the idea of composting is likely an easy sell. If you have a garden, you can make your own compost to show kids the full life cycle of organic matter. Some parents may shy away from composting because, well, it can seem complicated or overwhelming at first. However, there are several options and beginner tutorialsavailable to help you and your child build the right composting system for your needs. Even if you don't garden, composting your food scraps and yard trimmings is a great way to reduce the amount of waste you send to landfill — which is a critical lesson to pass on to kids.
Teach your kids to make things last
It's important to instill in our kids from a young age that belongings are not disposable and to teach by example the idea of 'mindful consumption'. The old adage "use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without" is not a bad philosophy to live by. Having conversations early on about how waste impacts our planet can encourage kids to make their stuff last, avoiding the temptation of overconsumption. Remember, kids learn by watching grown-ups. It's the little actions they see you do every day that will have the greatest impact.
Read to your kids about the natural world
Is there anything better than sitting with your child and getting lost in a stack of books? We've rounded up our favorite nature themed children's books, perfect for Earth Day. Hopefully this reading list will get you and your little one inspired to get outside and enjoy the wonders of nature. After all, the more connected we are to the natural world the more inclined we are to adopt earth-friendly habits for a more sustainable future.