By Emily Folk
We live on one of the coolest planets in the solar system, but it’s easy to take it for granted because everything we need – air, water, sunlight and food – is right at our fingertips. As we strive to reach the stars, it’s easy to forget that this is the only home we have, and we need to appreciate everything given to us. How can you teach your children to value and protect the planet we live on?
Change Your Lifestyle
The easiest way to teach sustainability for children is to set a good example.
It’s easier to get kids to mimic your actions than telling them to do something, so practise what you preach when it comes to valuing the environment.
If you’re concerned about plastic waste in the oceans, make it a point to choose reusable water bottles, grocery bags and straws, and stop purchasing single-use plastics. If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, make it a point to drive less and spend more time walking or biking to your destination as a family. You could even invest in an environmentally-friendly vehicle with excellent gas mileage. Children will mimic the people they look up to.
Have a Conversation
We often rely on schools and educational television shows to broach difficult subjects with our children. However, if you want them to appreciate the planet, you need to start that conversation yourself.
Start talking about our world, all the things it gives us and what we can do to protect it.
Don’t make it scary, especially for younger children. There are plenty of terrifying images and videos out there that get the point across, but you don’t want them to be too terrified to act. Keep your conversations age-appropriate.