We many not notice it, but kids are watching our every move. Every time we yell in road rage or swear when the internet goes off, they are internalizing our behavior. This is true in every aspect of our lives, including going green.
As parents, teaching our kids to go green is a big responsibility. As they say, we haven’t inherited the planet from our parents, we’ve loaned it from our children. That makes us look at things differently, right?
Here are a few tips to help kids go green, starting afresh in 2019. The most important thing to remember is that this is not something that should be forced or treated as a boring chore. Again, it’s our attitude that matters. If we complain about having to carry our own bag, our kids are getting the message that going green is extremely inconvenient. Yes, living a sustainable lifestyle takes a little effort, but the thing is that you soon get used to it, and so will the kids.
12 Ways to help Kids Go Green in 2019
1. Sorting Garbage
This is the easiest task kids can learn – even preschoolers! Teach kids to put plastic, paper and kitchen trash in different dustbins. Make it easy for them by having dustbins in different colors and labels in an easily accessible location.
2. Grow your own vegetables
With the kitchen waste that has been sorted, make compost with it and grow your own vegetables. Curry leaves, mint, tomatoes and green chillies are relatively easy to grow and kids can help. Assign each child a plant, and make it his or her responsibility to care for it everyday.
3. Go the DIY route
There are so many things we can make ourselves, rather than buying. Kids can learn easy things like making dustbin liners out of newspaper – a greener alternative to using plastic trash bags. DIYing gifts for Diwali or Christmas is also something kids will enjoy.
4. Take kids shopping
A big part of going green is to buy less and to buy smart. To educate kids on this concept, take them when you go shopping. Show them how to buy from organic stores or farmer’s markets, and how buying in bulk saves both money and plastic.
5. Walk wherever possible
When out on errands or shopping, walk wherever you can. Not only do we save valuable fuel, we also get a good workout. Getting kids into this habit from an early age is very useful as they grow up, so they won’t be dependent on vehicles for small distances.
6. Cut down on electronics use
Electronics use up electricity for charging, and electronic waste handling is a serious problem. Opt for books instead of smart phones, and board games instead of PS4. At the same time, teach them to unplug after they’ve finished using a device.
7. Declutter and donate
Create a regular decluttering schedule for your kids’ room – clothes, toys, books and anything else. Gather whatever they’re not using and take them along to donate it. Having less toys also helps kids focus more on the toys that they have.
8. Avoid toys with too much plastic and batteries
When buying toys for kids, go for good quality toys rather than ones made of cheap plastic that are not just harmful for the environment but a health hazard too. Avoid ones that need batteries – you’ll have to keep buying batteries and when you don’t, the toy will get discarded.
9. Plan nature outings
When planning outings with the kids, don’t go straight to the mall. Check out local parks and sanctuaries in your area, and spend some time there. Take time to cycle around the neighborhood to see things with new eyes. You might also discover some hereto unseen gems.
10. Cut down on laundry
Laundry uses up many resources, mainly water and electricity. Teach kids to hang up towels and clothes that they are going to reuse. Tell them to toss something into the laundry only when it is quite soiled, and not if a t-shirt has been worn just for an hour.
11. Use small bowls and dishes
Kids tend to overestimate the amount of food they can eat, which results in large servings and food wastage. Avoid this by going for smaller bowls and plates, which will prevent them from taking too much in the first place.
12. Carry a water bottle everywhere
Plastic bottles are accumulating on land and in the ocean at an alarming rate. Buying a bottle of water everywhere we go is one reason. Get kids into the habit of carrying their own water bottle wherever they go. They’ll save the planet, money and also remember to stay hydrated.
What are some of your ways to help kids go green? What do you do raise environmental-friendly children? What do you do to ensure your children are making the planet a better place? Share your comments with me.