Teaching kids sustainable living ideas is an investment in the future. By letting them learn about the natural world and our species’ effect on the planet, we’re steadily ensuring the next generations will be composed of conscious and compassionate individuals. Let’s talk about how we can get our kids on board with our sustainable living practices.
How to Live a Sustainable Lifestyle with Children
Be a Role Model
As they say, learning begins at home. Children learn by imitating their parents. If you want to teach your children ways to be green, you will need to demonstrate the virtues of real simple living. When sorting out the trash into recyclables and non-recyclables or skipping junk food is a tall order for you, it will be the same for your kids.
Begin teaching sustainable living ideas by doing these activities for yourself. Start eating organic and then show them you enjoy eating vegetables. Let them sit with you during quiet time and turn it into a game. Sooner or later, they’ll come around and join you in your activities.
Let’s not forget that you’re the most important person in the eyes of your kids. Or at least the tallest and that accounts for something. You can use your influence to mold them into caring and responsible persons.
Living Green Begins with Experiential Education
Top sustainability ideas in a magazine are just that – ideas. We live in a highly technological society but all the gadgets have made it easy for us to connect to a virtual world and disconnect from the natural one. Kids are poorer these days because they can only see a whale on YouTube instead of seeing it surface and blow water in the sea. Just how do you teach sustainability in a concrete jungle?
It’s nice if your home is powered by green technology and you eat fresh and organic food. If they don’t see what climate change is doing to coastal communities, the learning will be superficial. Experience is the best teacher because what we encounter with our senses lingers with us long after they’ve become memories.
You can start applying this principle by going to the farmer’s market and having the farmers talk to them about the food you’re buying. Perhaps you can also go to a nearby organic farm so your children can see how crops are grown or simply chase the free-range chickens. Or you can even ask them to tend a herb garden right in your own home.
Letting them touch, feel, smell, hear, and see things for themselves can be a treat and the lessons they’ll learn will enrich them in so many ways.
Show Living Green and Frugally Can Be Fun
Building from driftwood and leftover wood material. Best activity during a summer storm. #slowsummer #slowlife #recycling #recycledtoys #naturaltoys #naturechild #greenlife #building #notlego #driftwood #wood #leftoverwood #momlife #homeschoolmom #homeschool #creativeplay #createexplore #createsomething
The problem with the world today also stems from our over-reliance on manufacturing. When something gets broken, we can easily buy a replacement. Why make something when you can order it online? Our regard for convenience and mass production cheapens the things we do have and makes us less appreciative of them.
The best way to inculcate the virtues of simple green living to your kids is to show them that less is more. They don’t need the coloring app on the iPad when they’ve created a picture of a sunflower using seeds and glue. Why throw away the Teddy Bear with the hole when you can teach them to sew the hole shut and give it a new pocket?
Sustainable living has a lot of lessons to teach your children. You can teach gratefulness by showing them that things aren’t replaceable. They also learn how to be creative if they know they can only rely on themselves to fix things. Working with the things they have also unfetters their imagination from the screen.
Lisa Gottfried has a wonderful video on how to teach kids sustainability in case you want a video resource:
There are a lot of creative ways to go green with your kids. However, any approach will not work if you don’t model sustainable living yourself, relying merely on second-hand experience and media to teach your children, and focusing on what money can buy. Your time, engagement, and desire to expose them to nature will give them the positive habits to become responsible, grateful, and conscious people.
Do you have specific DIY sustainability activities for your children? Comment down below and let’s get a list of stuff we can do to teach sustainable living ideas to our kids.