Kids are naturally curious so it is in our best interest to take advantage of this curiosity to prepare the next generation in how to be good stewards of this Earth. You can easily get your children involved in making your home greener. You can start by giving them responsibilities, such as putting things in the recycling bin, or you could even create a friendly competition between members of your family to see who can be the most green. EnviroCitizen.org suggests that you challenge your family to take shorter showers ( you should be clear that they still need to practice proper hygiene practices ) or to see who can reduce their energy consumption the most.
You could also challenge your family to come up with ideas on how to reduce your household energy use. One popular way to engage your children in eco-friendly practices around the home is to help them design a recycling center. You could let your children decorate recycling bins with paint, markers or other eye-catching, reused decorations. The key is to make it fun while helping your children understand why these small changes are important. If you simply tell your child that you’re changing the light bulb type, you are missing an opportunity to talk about energy use and the importance of energy efficiency. Instead, you can choose to elaborate on how this new light bulb that you are installing is efficient and uses less energy to work. Then, you could talk about energy, at whatever level your child will understand, and explain what fossil fuels and clean energies are.
You could also throw an eco-friendly birthday party, a relatively new theme for birthday parties that is quickly growing in popularity. Having an eco-friendly birthday party can come in a variety of forms. You could go as far as to plant one tree for each child attending the party, which is great because it would engage and educate all of the children present. You could do something as simple as make your own organic cake and offer local, organic foods. The games could be eco-friendly by making games out of recyclable items like cardboard, and having the theme of each game surround an environmental topic. These parties are actually quite fun and most children don’t even notice how much they’re learning.
Even if your child is already learning this information in school, it’s important to bring the concept home. Many subjects are often too abstract for children to understand in an applicable way. In order to enable your children to understand how environmental topics affect them, discuss the changes you’re making in your home and why. This way, children are exposed to both the abstract and applicable ideas behind being eco-friendly.
Being eco-friendly with your children only takes a creative idea or two and the patience to explain what you’re doing. EnviroCitizen.org recognizes that the children of today are the adult consumers of tomorrow. Let’s make sure the next generation grows up as eco-conscious as possible!