How to Teach Your Kids About Sustainability

The effects of global warming are starting to become apparent across the globe. We are seeing an endless procession of record-breaking years with many of the hottest temperatures on record now occurring in the last decade. With the impacts of climate change now becoming manifest, many adults are factoring the future state of the planet into their decision of whether to have children or not.

Ensuring that the planet remains safe and habitable for future generations is a concern for all of us. While it can often feel as if climate change is a runaway problem that we now have no hope of solving, it is, in fact, something that all of us can make a contribution towards fixing. Teaching our children about the importance of sustainability and showing them how they can contribute to a better environment is one way we can help.

Teach Them Why We Recycle

Teaching your kids what recycling is is important, but showing them why we recycle is what will really make the lesson stick. Recycling is important because it enables us to reuse materials. The Earth’s resources are limited and one day, they will run out. This is a concept that even young children can understand. Explain to them that it is by recycling what we can, that we can make the planet’s resources last long into the future.

Teach Them Sustainable Shopping

When you do your weekly grocery shop, bring the kids along and show them how to choose recyclable products. Show them from an early age that the source of products and their environmental impact is a key concern when deciding what to buy. This is also an opportunity to show them that it is sometimes worth paying a bit more money for a product with a smaller environmental footprint.

Make it Interactive

Any parent who wants their children to understand the importance of sustainability needs to recycle. Recycling is one of the most effective things that any of us can do on an individual level in order to make a real difference to the state of the planet as a whole. Taking your kids with you to the recycling center isn’t just a great way of making recycling more interactive, it also shows them that there are other people who care about the planet as well.

Defeatism is all too common in today’s world. Many people reason that climate change is inevitable and therefore it isn’t worth taking action. However, it is the sum of small individual contributions that will make the biggest change to our battle with climate change. Show your children how to separate out recyclable materials, how to identify them and how to properly dispose of them.

Show Them the Results

Living in a more sustainable household inevitably means that you will be able to save money. Being more sustainable means reusing what you can, when you can. Another important component of sustainability is energy conservation. Teach your children why switching appliances off when they aren’t using them is important. Not only is it more environmentally friendly, but it will also save you money on your utility bills.

Make a note of the savings you make from your sustainable living practices and use this money to reward your kids for their efforts. Why not let them pick out some new plants and flowers for your yard? Show your kids that plants can be useful sources of food and other useful materials. Gardens are an important part of sustainability and should also be a fun place for children to learn about ecology and the environment in general.

Teaching children about sustainability has never been more important. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways that you can teach your kids about sustainability in a way that is fun, exciting and likely to stay with them.

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