Raising a child: you teach them how to ride their first bike, and to say thank you when they receive a gift. You help with their maths homework, and you help them learn the value of money. In the blink of an eye, you’re showing them how to shave, or you’re driving them to their school prom.
One life lesson that we seem to have missed out, up to now, is teaching them how to look after the environment.
If you teach your children eco-friendly habits from a young age, they’ll carry those teachings into adulthood. Hopefully, they’ll pass these learnings onto their own kids once the time comes! It’s so important for environmental health – and the health of our future generations.,/p>
So, here’s how to get your kids into eco-friendly habits.
If recycling is seen as a chore, then naturally your children won’t want to take part.
Here’s an idea: instead of sticking with the dull regulation bins you probably have, jazz them up with stickers, glitter, and maybe even a bit of paint. Or, even better, you can make special recycling bins just for the little ones, and simply add their rubbish to yours when you take the bins out.
Go green outside of the home
Teaching your kids how to live greener starts at home, but you should encourage them to live that life outside too. If your children look up to you and generally copy everything you do, you can use that to influence them! If your child sees you throw your rubbish in the bin, or even pick up someone else’s (not everyone is as green as us), then this is way more influential than you might think.
Kids are impressionable! Whatever it is that you do, don’t hesitate to explain to your children just why it is that you’re doing these things. You’ll have been doing this stuff for years, but it’s all new to the young ones.
And that includes the things you buy
When you get your child’s backpack, buy one that’s been produced ethically and in a way that’s environmentally-friendly. If you’re in the market for a new car, explain to your child why you’re going to get a low-carbon deal or a hybrid model. And when you’re food shopping, you should make a thing about looking for cruelty-free products (use a child’s bond with animals to explain it further!).
Whether it’s homemade cleaning products (they contain less chemicals) or free-range eggs, instil in your children a love of natural, cruelty-free products – as opposed to those filled with harmful chemicals.
The small things matter
Like we said, children will do what their parents do. Teach them why you choose to not run water when you’re shaving, or why you always turn the lights off when you leave a room. Hoist them up to the light so that they can turn it off themselves! Kids will always remember lessons like these when they’re taught at such a young age.
Show your kids how to reuse their things, and get creative. Instead of throwing away that shoebox, what else could it be used for? This is a fun way of reducing waste,and of using your things over and again. This goes for pieces of paper too – children go through so much of it! Explain why you shouldn’t waste paper, and you’ll make great progress.
If you have a love of the outdoors, share that with your children! It’s not only a wonderful way to bond, but you’ll also impress upon them the wonders of the natural world. They’ll feel grateful for having access to such great green spaces and they’ll feel far more responsible for them, too.
Watch films and documentaries with your children
We’re not saying to stick your child in front of a very serious, very long nature documentary – there are loads out there aimed at children, speaking in their language, with vibrant colours and casts of funny characters. This is a brilliant way of communicating the green way of life.
Whether you have a modest cabbage-patch or a resplendent estate, getting your kids into gardening is a great way for them to become more eco-conscious. Show them how to water the plants, explaining how it feeds them and how it fuels their growth.
Wear clothes more than once
Who knows where they get it from, but a lot of children have this mentality that they should wash an item of clothing after wearing it just the once. For underwear and socks, yes, but clothing certainly doesn’t need to be washed that regularly.
Pass on unwanted goods
Instead of throwing away toys, clothing, and other bits and bobs, pass them on to local charities where other children can enjoy your unwanted goods. Donating to local charities is a great way to declutter your home, and it props up local charities that need help. You can even take your children with you when you donate, so that they’ll know exactly where their items go to.
Eat more fruits and vegetables
Trying to get your child to eat their greens is a common parenting gripe, but it’s more important than trying to get your children to eat healthy. If you can instil a preference of vegetables over meat, you’ll be making the first step to influencing your child’s choices when they grow up.
Ultimately, you can’t make your child forgo meat, but what you can do is nudge them in the direction of fruits and vegetables.
These are our most highly recommended tips, and with them you’ll have a little eco-warrior on your hands in no time. If you’d like to learn more about how your family could go green, you should consider getting a solar-panel system installed. It takes less than an hour to get a quote – you can give us a call on 0800 112 3110 or fill out our short enquiry form.