Recycle Household Waste
Point out the recycling symbol on cans, bottles and boxes. Children will learn that it means they can recycle the item safely. They might go with you to drop it off at a recycling plant, but schedule a tour and make the experience interactive.
Many plants give family tours so kids can see their dedication turn into action and reinforce why it’s crucial to reduce their environmental footprint. They’ll take that dedication wherever they go, even becoming eco-friendly at school by recycling their lunch waste and printed assignments.
Demonstrate Water Waste
Water waste is another environmental concern that’s difficult for children to comprehend. Demonstrate how much water they use during a simple routine, like brushing their teeth. Place a bucket under the faucet and let the water run while they brush. Then repeat the process, but turn the water off while they brush.
It’s much easier to see the difference when the first bucket is much more full. Evidence of water waste motivates kids to continue conserving it as they grow up.
Grow a Vegetable Garden
Starting a family garden is an excellent way to teach kids about two things at once. When they harvest your vegetables and taste them, they’ll have experienced the hard work that goes into putting food on their plate. When they get older and realise how much time and resources go into the food industry, they’ll look at food waste as something that increases their planetary impact.
Kids will also learn about chemical fertilisers while they garden. Explain how the sprays and products poison local aquatic life by leaking into waterways. Instead, they can use organic fertiliser and even compost and still raise a successful garden.
Try New Lessons
There’s no need to wonder how to teach your children about reducing their environmental footprint when you can try new lessons like these. Start simple with young ones and introduce new information and contexts as they get older. They’ll learn about the world and grow up with love for the planet that shows through their sustainable choices.
Jane Marsh is the founder and editor-in-chief of Environment.co where she shares practical tips on how to live a greener life.