Wednesday, August 17, 2011

How to Raise Environmentally Responsible Kids

If you are concerned about the future of the environment, it makes sense to raise your children to be environmentally responsible. After all, the future belongs to them. Investing in your kids and making them aware of the planet is one of the most environmentally responsible things you can do.

Hopetoun Falls, Beech Forest, near Otway Natio...Image via WikipediaHere are some ideas on how you can raise your kids to respect the planet and want to preserve it!

* Foster a love of nature in your kids. Get out into it and go on hikes, field trips (literally), picnics, cookouts, camping, and fishing trips. Consider getting bikes for the family and going out biking in the woods or on trails. Take your kids to play in a nearby park or encourage them to play outdoors in your yard. This means limiting television and other electronic pursuits.

* Identify plants, animals, constellations, leaves, and other things in nature. Check out some field guides and take your kids to a natural area. Then collect and identify flowers, leaves, feathers, rocks, and so forth.

* Encourage your kids to participate in local clean-up projects. Consider beginning one if your neighborhood or community does not already have such an event. It's very eye-opening for your kids to see the extent of the trash and litter that builds up in a given area.

enormous dusky eggplant, average sized boyImage by woodleywonderworks via Flickr* Grow your own food if possible, even if it's just a few plants in containers. Your kids will be enlightened to see what it takes to grow food and how the natural elements (air, water, sunlight) come together to produce food. (Check out our Sustainable Gardening blog, where we do occasionally feature articles on including your kids in creating your own sustainable garden.)

* Recycle with your kids. This doesn't just mean having them help organize recyclables into bins and taking them to the facility. It also means teaching them creative recycling - how to fix and refurbish, for example, instead of throwing something out and buying a new replacement. Encourage your kids to make their own toys and crafts, especially out of recyclables, rather than going to a craft store or buying new toys.

* Gather wild foods. Children usually love this. Get a good book on gathering wild foods, or find an expert in your area who can show you. Whether it's raiding a blackberry patch, gathering nuts, or picking dandelion greens to cook as a potherb, harvesting nature's gifts really fosters a sense of appreciation for everything nature has to offer.

* Include your kids in your household energy-saving goals. Make sure everyone is on board with shortening showers and turning off lights. Make sure they know why - it's not just about lowering the utility bills.

Helping your kids learn the impact of their decisions, and their responsibility for their environment, will equip them to move forward into this new century in a responsible and sustainable way. Remember that our kids will be the scientists of the future, developing innovative ways to keep our species alive and well for centuries to come. Give them a good start by teaching them how they can have a positive impact on their planet.
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment