As Crosby, Stills and Nash sang Teach Your Children well. Also Whitney Houston once sang, the children are our future. So if you want to protect the ongoing health of planet Earth, the best thing you can do is to raise your kids to live as greenly as possible.
How can you instill eco-friendliness in your children? First, you need to become a positive role model yourself. Then, engage them in activities that raise their awareness of the environment we call home.
Go Hiking Together
Recent research in the Journal of Environmental Psychology indicates that children demonstrated a closer connection with nature after a four-hour excursion. The best way to instill respect for the natural world is to get your little ones out and move in it.
Spend a Saturday afternoon taking a walk at a nearby nature preserve. Many museums have beautifully manicured grounds and signs identifying different trees and plants. With autumn here, rake a big pile of leaves and jump in them. Anything that gets your kids outdoors will help strengthen their bond with the Earth.
Promote Outdoor Recess at School
Sadly, many schools have curtailed recess time even though children benefit from outdoor play in many ways. Become an advocate and attend school board meetings. Make sure your school builds time into the daily schedule for recess — and that it is unstructured playtime.
Unstructured play engages your child’s mind and helps their social development as they make up rules for various games. It also provides time for them to find heaven in a wildflower, to paraphrase Blake. It allows them to burn off excess energy and improves their behavior in class, as well as fostering environmental stewardship.
Walk or Bike to School
Most children relish the freedom to walk or bike to school. However, if your little ones balk, create a teachable moment from their reluctance and discuss the impact idling cars have on carbon emissions.
Personal vehicle idling generates 30 million tons of carbon dioxide annually and wastes 3 billion gallons of fuel. Even if you turn your car off at the parent pickup, you release emissions driving to and from the facility. Some days are too snowy or rainy, but opt for foot power whenever the weather permits.
Decorate Reusable Bottles Together