If you want to make a change, you have to begin at home. With the current environmental concerns, we are all looking for ways we can contribute to the protection of Nature. It is a great idea to pass on the knowledge to kids so that they can learn from us and follow our path and make their contribution too.
Best Ways to Teach Kids about Protecting The Environment
This is the starting point. It is better to reduce waste rather than try to dispose of it later. So, teach your kids to buy only what they need and not in bulk. They must learn to choose products with less packaging, long shelf life, and better degradability.
Take them along with you to the grocery store, for instance, and show them how you buy stuff. Discuss products and their Nature, grow their interest, and let them practice it too.
If we keep on exploiting our natural resources, future generations will be left with nothing to use. Therefore, it is our duty to teach ourselves and also teach our kids why it is so important to conserve the natural resources we have- water, air, trees, etc.
It’s better to save now than lament later. Ask them to switch off lights and fans when they leave the room, or put the leftover food in the fridge and close the door properly.
Kids always like to play in the shower while bathing. While this is fun, explain to them why it is not advisable. Teach them the importance of water in our life and how we are already facing a deficit of it in several parts of the world.
Remind them that they are privileged enough to have access to water all the time. They must develop the habit of using as much water as they need and not wasting it unnecessarily.
With the advancement of technology in the modern world, kids have access to a lot of electronic gadgets for their education and entertainment purposes. But, they must learn the appropriate and environment-friendly usage of these devices.
Teach them the importance of saving electricity and maintaining electronic gadgets properly and always remind them to turn off their computers/laptops or TVs when not in use. If this becomes a regular habit for them, they will gradually learn to protect important resources.
Proper car maintenance
Don’t consider that your kid is not mature enough to understand car maintenance and gas usage. Discuss with them openly and teach them how to clean and work on the vehicle. Kids should have an idea at what cost they get a comfortable ride.
Ask them to figure out how much fuel is being used and what the prices are. This will help them to have an idea of the fact if they will be capable of maintaining a car.
According to researchers and environmental reports, about 50% of nature issues can be solved by planting trees and growing abundant greenery on Earth. With rapid deforestation and construction projects, our Nature is being affected severely in several ways. So, bring the change to your home and grow a garden.
Let your kids learn how to maintain a garden and try planting trees together. Teach them the value of trees in our lives and let them take care of the garden.
Proper house insulation
The home you live in belongs to every family member. So everyone must participate equally in preserving the environment within the house. Your kids have to learn it too, in their own way. Explain to them why it is important to insulate the house and remind them to close all windows during winter.
Teach them the function of a thermostat and the appropriate temperature adjustments that do not induce wastage of energy. Let them handle the equipment and settings themselves.
There are plenty of things to do in the garden that you can introduce to your kid to protect the environment. One of these easy methods is composting. Involve your kids in starting a compost in your garden and explain the concept to them.
Since it is very easy to do and the least expensive, your kids can always do it themselves. Also, it is a very important and environment-friendly procedure and can keep garden landfills devoid of waste products.
Among the many suggested methods of saving priceless fuel resources like petrol or diesel, carpooling stands first as fun and environment-conscious. Your kids need to learn this concept and apply it for themselves too.
Rather than going to school or tuition classes in private cars, they can choose to carpool with their other friends. This will not only help them to spend more time with their friends and communicate well, but it is also a great help to the environment.
Besides carpooling, one of the ways to control pollution and fuel wastage is to avoid unnecessary driving. Teach your kids to use their cycles to travel shorter distances or, better, walk.
This is not only a good way to save important resources, but it will also be an effective physical exercise for them. Your kids need to understand that you may not always have the time or chance to drive them to their destination, so they must make their arrangements.
Understanding that less is better
If kids get into the habit of spending everything they have and misuse their privilege, they will never care to look after the environment. So, teach them that satisfaction comes from within and it does not take a lot of things to be happy.
They must learn to be happy with what they have, rather than asking for more. Instead of replacing items, they must know to repair and reuse stuff. This will also bring out creativity in them.
Using biodegradable products
Kids must learn to know the methods by which they can control environmental disasters in their own way. Therefore, teach them to use products that are eco-friendly and biodegradable.
Teach them to use jute or paper bags instead of plastic bags when they buy something from the market, and guide them through the appropriate methods of waste disposal and maintenance of hygiene inside and outside the house. The protection of Nature is a responsibility that we all must share among ourselves.
Proper use of stationery
Kids are mostly surrounded by stationery products, and they must know how to handle them appropriately. Most of them need paper for different activities- writing, drawing, printing, etc. Ask them to use paper wisely.
For example, using both sides of a sheet while writing, not wasting pages of their notebooks or drawing copies unnecessarily, etc. Smart usage will develop the good habit of environmental consciousness in them, and they will be able to share this awareness with their other friends.
Proper disposal of trash
We often see large heaps of trash accumulated here and there on public spots and roads. This is a result of our ignorance of the importance of cleanliness and preservation of the environment. You, along with your kids, have the capability of making changes.
Teach them to dispose of trash, even if it doesn’t belong to them. Environment protection must be a selfless act, and it is community action. Make your kids attend seminars that speak regarding the concerned matter.
Informing about harmful chemicals
When you teach your kids about gardening, also inform them about the harmful effects of using chemicals and pesticides, not only on the plants but also on the environment. Inform them of their better alternatives and guide them through the process of using them.
Pesticides are a great source of pollutants that ruin the sanctity of the environment. So, if they have to get rid of pests, they must do it in an eco-friendly manner without polluting the natural environment.
Volunteering for eco-friendly programs
Many local clubs and associations organize campaigns to promote the preservation of the environment and restoration of natural resources. Movements like ‘Plant More Trees!’ or ‘Clean Your Space!’ are very popular nowadays. Try engaging your kids in one of these campaigns if possible.
It will not only allow them to spend time doing something that is knowledgeable, connect with people who are thinking about these matters but will also make them more aware of the need to save our environment.
Recycling is the easiest and most convenient method of environmental protection. But there are many things about recycling that people are not aware of. Your kids must have ample information about the different types of plastics and hope the process of recycling is different for each type.
Teach them to look through a specific product’s packaging while buying it to know how it must be recycled. This awareness works better when it comes at a very young age to kids.
Reduced use of petroleum products
Petroleum products are very harmful to the environment. But, unfortunately, we cannot really do without products that are primarily petroleum-based. So, learn by yourself and teach your kids the sustainable way of using these products and ways to minimize the harmful effects.
There are several videos and blogs available on the internet that can guide the kids methodically on the avoidance of products that can have a harmful impact on our lives and the environmental conditions necessary for proper living.
Your kids cannot fight the battle properly if they are not aware of their enemy and its powers. So, before anything else, educate your kids about pollution and the environmental hazards we are facing right now.
Inform them about the causative agents of air pollution, water pollution, depletion of important resources, and then discuss methods of controlling the disaster. Make them understand that they would have to face these issues very soon if they do not take necessary actions immediately.
Teach how to take care of the house
Before you let your kids go out and save the environment, try indulging them in activities within the house that teach them the importance of proper maintenance and preservation of resources. Don’t act for them- let them do the work themselves so that they can learn better.
Ask them to always look for leakages or wastage and make them solve the issue. Also, discover newer ways to save more and more electricity and reduce the production of unnecessary waste products.
More energy savings
There are many ways to conserve energy in your house. One of these methods is using light bulbs that are energy-saving and eco-friendly. Install these lights in your kids’ rooms especially, and discuss with them the reason for doing this.
These may be a little expensive in comparison to the former incandescent light bulbs, but they will let you save loads on your electricity bill for sure. If your kids understand the necessity of saving electricity, they will remember it.
Using eco-friendly cleaning
As already mentioned, if we want, we can make environment-friendly changes in every aspect of our life. Kids must learn to be independent at a very young age, and you must teach them to wash their own clothes, clean and dust the house frequently, to keep a clean and hygienic environment within the house.
Also, while they do it, they must learn to choose non-toxic cleansing agents over toxic ones so that the maintenance of the environment is also remembered.
Discarding hazardous waste
Garbage disposal is not as easy as it looks. It is not enough to get rid of the water; you also need to check if you are disposing of it correctly. For example, some waste products can be extremely hazardous to the environment if not discarded in the correct process.
Used batteries, parts of electronic appliances must be categorized well before choosing to dispose of or reuse and recycle. Teach your kids to understand the process before practically applying it.
We all are fairly aware of the harmful effects of Styrofoam. Being virtually indescribable and non-biodegradable, it is very difficult to get rid of the water, and it is usually given to the oceans that eventually destroy marine life.
While most of the products we use in our houses have a chance of coming in Styrofoam packaging, you have to know the correct methods of reusing and recycling. Ask your kids to reuse the stuff in their science/art projects.
Environment protection is an uprising concern in the modern world and needs to be taken more seriously than it usually is. As you can see, there are plenty of ways that we can contribute to the cause and do our part in the preservation. Your kids can also participate in the process and grow up to be better human beings.
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Mother of Two children. I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for Good parenting. I understand child development and know how to develop activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.