How to Encourage Children to Be More Sustainable

Climate change is already harming people’s health worldwide.  If we do nothing to protect the environment, the impact could burden future generations with disease and illness. Since air pollution and plastic pollution are getting worse year by year, immediate actions are needed. To save the planet, you should go green and encourage your kids to follow your example. You should teach your children everything you know about sustainability and green living. Here are a few ideas on how you can start out.

Help kids learn through play

Do you want to educate your kids about green living? Don’t give them a lecture. This approach never works. If you want your kids to learn new things faster, turn the lesson into a fun game. 

For instance, if you want your kids to learn about recycling, offer them to play a recycling sorting game. Find pictures of different items (food leftovers, cans, plastic bottles, straws, etc.) online and print them out. Then find four colorful recycling bins of suitable size. Start playing the game explaining what item goes to which bin and why. 

Spend more time outdoors

If you want your kids to care about nature, find a way to spend more time in nature. Take your kids to different local and national parks and show them how beautiful our planet is. Once your kids fall in love with snow-capped mountains, crystal-clear lakes, and magnificent forests, they will understand why they should become more sustainable.

Also, you can show your teenage kids the difference between sustainable travel and non-sustainable travel. You can take them on an excursion to the trashy campsite to show them how people who are not environmentally conscious destroy the beauty of nature.

Offer kids to watch movies, cartoons, and TV shows with a green theme

As a parent, you can help your kids to get the most out of screen time. You can guide them on what TV shows to choose and what movies to watch. And it will be wise of you to encourage your son and daughter to opt for content that teaches kids about climate change and sustainability.

Here is a list of movies and videos that are worth watching:

  • What is Sustainability? By Mocomi Kids (Available on YouTube)
  • FernGully: The Last Rainforest. This movie urges little viewers to preserve wild nature.
  • Ice Age: The Meltdown. This movie will help you explain the concept of global warming.
  • Free Willy. The key message of this movie is the following: wild animals are better off left alone.
  • Chasing Coral. It’s a documentary movie that tracks the decline of coral reefs.
  • I Am Greta (A Hulu Original Original documentary). This movie may inspire your kids to become young eco-activists.

Encourage your teens to follow eco-bloggers

Do your teenage kids use social media? Offer them to follow Instagrammers and YouTubers who promote sustainable living. If your kids learn new recycling tips from social media influencers (not from teachers), they will be more likely to use them.

Also, you should support your teens and make their voices heard. If your elder son or daughter are recycling enthusiasts, offer them to use social media to share their experience. Help them find their audience and promote the ideas they believe in.

Explain the importance of conserving water and energy

Pretty often, kids don’t know where the water and energy in their house come from. For this very reason, they don’t understand why it’s important to turn off the tap and turn the lights off. 

Being a parent, you should explain to your children that water and energy are valuable resources that must be used wisely. You should make it clear to your kids that you pay for every drop of the tap water and every second of the light bulb work. Also, tell your kids that wasteful use of these resources harms the environment.

If you are a parent of teens, you can discuss water scarcity problems in Sub-Saharan Africa, India, and other countries. Once your kids understand that every drop counts, they will start using water more mindfully.

Send your kids to the environmental camp

Do your kids like to participate in various group activities? Send them to an environmental summer camp. There they will learn more about sustainability while having fun and communicating with other kids.

You can opt for a local camp or even send your kids to an international camp located in a foreign country. Choose whatever camp meets your kids’ interests and fits your family’s budget. 

Become a role model for your child

Strive to live a more sustainable life, make green choices every day, and eventually, your kids will acquire green skills and habits. 

As you know, little kids tend to copy their parents. When a little girl sees her mother cooking, she starts to play with her toy kitchen pretending that she is cooking. When a little boy sees his father repairing a chair, he starts playing with a toy toolbox.

Therefore, you can expect if your children see how you turn off the tap every time you brush your teeth, they will copy your behavior and start saving water. Consciously and unconsciously, they will start choosing greener products and preserve natural resources. 

Wrapping up

The eco-consciousness of your children depends on you. If you educate your kids about climate change and the importance of refusing, reducing, and recycling, they will be more sustainable and more likely to make green choices.

We highly suggest you use these seven tips – it will be a great start for raising Earth-friendly kids

Author’s bio: Jessica Fender is a professional writer and educational blogger at EssaySupply, an aggregator for useful college resources and websites. Jessica enjoys sharing her ideas to make writing and learning fun.