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Guest Post Contributed by: Andrea Gibbs
The summer is a time for fun, adventure, and learning. As parents, we want our children to be able to explore the world around them, discover different cultures, learn life lessons, and have fun with their friends. We also want them to understand that they are a part of this world and need to care for it. The best way to teach your kids these ideas is through activities you can do together as a family.
Here are some activities that will help easily teach your kids sustainability.
Encourage a Connection with Nature.
When it comes to nature, never underestimate the power of play. Your kids will spend a lot of time outdoors this summer, so take time to get them in touch with nature regularly.
One of the best ways to help your kids connect with nature is through first-hand experience. If you already have a garden, get the kids involved in planting seeds to help them understand how plants grow over time. Furthermore, you can choose flowers that bloom at different times of the year so they can watch them grow throughout the summer. It is much easier to teach them about the environment when they understand that they are a part of it.
Make Your Home More Green.
As parents, we should strive to make our homes as green as possible. There are many little things you can do to help make your home more sustainable, and it doesn’t take much effort. Start by switching out traditional lightbulbs one at a time and replacing them with longer-lasting more energy-efficient bulbs. Look for the Energy Star label on the box to verify that it meets the standards set by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Opt for clothing with natural fibers, which won’t release micro-plastics into the water. Look for eco-friendly laundry detergents, and wash clothes in cold water instead of warm. Washing in cold water helps clothes last longer, uses less energy, and helps prevent synthetic fibers from braking down during the washing cycle and releasing small particles of plastic into the water supply. Lastly, introduce your kids to natural cleaners and fixatives to help keep dust from accumulating in your home.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
Teach kids about the importance of recycling and how to properly dispose of trash. It will help give them the idea of sharing and caring for their belongings, which is essential for being eco-friendly. Ask them to donate items they no longer need to charity.
Shop for household items with your children, and seek out environmentally friendly items and packaging.
Teach Your Kids About Global Warming.
Talk to your kids about global warming and how they can help. As you talk about global warming and how it will affect them later on, explain what they can do now to slow down the process and prevent further destruction to our planet.
Kids must know how to be environmentally conscious because this will benefit them in the future. Let them know that they are the future of our planet and that whatever they do now will affect the environment in the future.
Plant a Garden and Play Outside.
Flowers are also a great way to teach your kids about nature. You can help them understand how important it is for them to help keep the world around them clean and safe by asking them to plant flowers that don’t need much water and are low maintenance.
If you are not sure what kind of flowers you should be looking for, check out the natural environment around you to get some ideas. You can also ask your local plant nursery for ideas.
Lastly, spend time playing with your children outdoors this summer. It’s an excellent opportunity for you to show them how you can reduce your environmental footprint without compromising the fun you have each day. It teaches them how to be happy with less, which is something that will benefit them their entire lives. You will be surprised at how much your child will learn from being exposed to nature from an early age.
Shop local whenever you can and visit your local farmers’ markets. That will encourage more people to buy locally and help support small farms, which is essential for sustainability. You’ll have the opportunity to get to know your neighbors and help out by buying goods from them. Become an advocate for reducing your carbon footprint.
Explain to your kids why it’s important and how they can help by asking them questions about it.
Also, tell them about all the great things about being eco-friendly. For example, if you purchase locally grown fruits and vegetables, you will be able to support local farmers and reduce emissions associated with transporting food. It will help reduce global warming by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.
Talk About Saving Water.
When you’re outside, please talk with your kids about how they can save water. When teaching your kids about conservation, teach them the importance of turning off their faucets when they are not using water instead of leaving it running. A great way to do this is by painting pictures of what happens when water is wasted.
For example, when your kids are at the sink washing dishes and they notice a lot of water running out of the faucet, have them pretend to be a sponge. Have them talk about how it takes water to be carried by water pipes that travel thousands of miles until it comes back to wash their dishes. When they’ve finished talking, have them come up with alternatives for how they could get this same thing without wasting so much water.
Living Green is a way of life, not just a fad. A little planning and hard work can enormously influence the environment and your children’s future. By teaching your kids about the importance of being green, you will help them learn about how to live out their dreams while leaving behind a legacy that will benefit future generations.
With education, patience, awareness, and commitment, there is no reason why they can’t be responsible adults that can maintain their eco-friendly lifestyle.
Andrea Gibbs is the Content Manager at SpringHive Web Agency, where she helps create content for their clients’ blogs and websites. She is currently a blog contributor at Montessori Academy, a blog dedicated to helping parents with the ins and outs of parenting children within the Montessori tradition. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and her dog.