As a society, we understand now more than ever how every choice we make has an impact on our environment. Sustainability is about making small changes to help look after the earth, which will make sure that our children also have a good life here.
It’s all well and good for us adults to have a say in sustainability, but we must teach future generations about sustainability to ensure these good habits are carried on. Below we look at how to teach children about sustainability.
Doing the Chores
Children need to understand common household chores and as they age, they should become a part of this process. A child needs to know how to run a household, but while you are teaching them chores, you can teach them the most sustainable ways to do things. For example, when teaching children how to use the washing machine, make sure to tell them the importance of washing at 30°C.
When packing groceries, encourage them to take reusable bags and explain the impact this has on the environment. When bin day arrives, teach them how to recycle correctly into the different bins. A lot of the habits we form as children will stay with us in our adult lives, which is why it’s important to begin teaching them this way from a young age.
Be a Role Model
Children learn through watching their parents and carers, so what better way to show your child how to be sustainable than by living it yourself? You can do things such as:
- Swapping throw-away items for reusable ones, like reusable sanitary products or washable cotton makeup remover wipes
- Replacing single-use plastics with refillable products
- Using metal straws or bamboo toothbrushes
- Switching to brands that are also working on sustainability and use recycled packaging
- Recycling in your home
- Shopping in second-hand and charity shops
If your children have grown up and flown the nest but you’re passionate about caring for children and teaching them about the world we live in, why not consider fostering a child? The Foster Care Associates website has more information on what is fostering to see if it’s the right choice for you.
Make Sustainability Fun!
Kids love anything fun, so making sustainability into a challenge or a game can make it more appealing for them. Try things like using coloured boxes to separate your recycling, then see if they can guess which items go into which box. You could also make a sustainability chart, where your family competes to see who ticks off the most things over the week.
Let them use their pocket money at the local charity shop and see what cool things they can come out with – this will help teach them to buy used rather than going straight for new.
Children are the future of this planet, so it’s a good idea to teach them about sustainability from a young age. This gives them the knowledge they need to remain sustainable as they grow up, get their own home, and raise their own children.