With environmental issues becoming more apparent over the past 20 years, rolling up your green sleeves and making eco-wise decisions should be second nature by now. But what about teaching the next generation the importance of planetary welfare? Here are some key things to remember when teaching youngsters about going green and more importantly, making sure it lasts into adulthood.
Model your rules:
Telling your children to separate paper and plastic and then doing the exact opposite is a sure-fire way to increase waste; Of resources and words. No child will learn a positive trait unless they have an active example to follow. Words aren’t enough, show them through your actions.
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Speaking of actions, volunteering can be a great way to teach your children about sacrifice and generosity. In today’s age of instant gratification and creature comforts, the inconvenience of volunteering will instil behaviours that cause children to see beyond themselves for the greater good.
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Eat close to Nature:
Despite the amazing health benefits, eating green isn’t just great for keeping a healthy body. Many of our environmental issues are due to companies trying to maintain our unsustainable food demands. Eating a fresh, largely vegetarian diet with little to no processing will reduce such strain and leave your kids in excellent shape.
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What better way to show the importance of recycling than reusing items for creative purposes? Why not make a piggy bank out of a milk carton, or even paint old packaging to build a miniature village? The more you make recycling a part of everyday life, the more likely your children will carry on this tradition into their future.
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Apart from you, what other information sources do your kids consume? Do the books, TV shows and after school programs they attend add to their sense of green-living or subtract from it? Advertisers tend to target kids channels to encourage children to buy their toys, most of which are of poor quality and end-up in landfills. Why not compile a YouTube playlist of quality shows, perhaps “Art Attack” or “Mr. Maker”? Even sourcing second-hand books from markets are an excellent way of getting quality items with the underlying ambition of helping the environment.
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Give info sparingly:
As much as you’d like to ensure that your kids are aware of the reality of our planet, giving them too much information at such a young age can make them feel powerless and downcast. Educate them sparingly without burdening them. Ensure that the lifestyle changes you’re enforcing are done in clever and fun ways, but also save the more hard-hitting info for when they’re older.
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