As parents, we have a lot of responsibility to educate our children. And, with global warming and climate change an increasing concern, it’s down to us to give them the tools that they will need when we are long gone. Unless we all set better, greener examples, what environment will our children - and theirs - have left? So, the question for today is how we can educate our children to take care and sustain the natural world? I’ve put together some simple tips to get you started.
First of all, make sure that you are having fun with your kids when exploring the natural world and environmental issues. For example, we went to the Countryfile Live event a few weeks ago and had a great time. The kids loved it, we all learned a lot, and it got everyone up close and personal with wildlife, nature, and brilliant outdoor activities.
Be mindful of food waste
We are all responsible for creating an incredible amount of food waste. Almost half of all food in the country that is thrown away comes straight from our homes, and it comes to over 7 million tonnes. It’s unforgivable - especially when you consider how many people around the world are starving. Now, of course, kids can be the trickiest customers when it comes to eating meals. But there are plenty of things you can do to try and change their habits. Growing veggies in the garden can be a great way of teaching them where food comes from, for example. And, if they are complaining they don’t like something, why not give it a funny name? A high school in the States gave veggies names like ‘X-Ray Vision Carrots’ and more kids started eating them. Why not do something similar?
Get your children involved in recycling at an early age and it will become part of their everyday lives. Think about getting a compost bin and get them to join you when you put out your scraps. Take them to the bottle bank - they love hearing that glass smash! Reuse jamjars - you can even turn them into little glasses for the kids to drink from. Don’t forget about your electronics devices, either. Children are becoming more aware of how to use them but don’t understand the impact that old gadgets can have on the environment. So, the next time you are due an upgrade, look into iPhone, iPad and tablet recycling. Not only will you be helping save the planet but they can get a little extra pocket money, too.
Talk about it
All these little tips will help, but you have to back up the actions with words. Underlining why you are recycling or being careful with waste will help you drill home the message. Kids are sharp as tacks and are more than capable of taking in a lot of information, even with big concepts like the environment. Use storytelling to underline what you are teaching them, too. It will help them get to grips with a greener way of living in no time at all.
Good luck - and feel free to share any tips you might have in the comments!