In today’s world, it can be discouraging to talk about climate change and sustainability. For many people, the problems just seem too big. Parents especially may find it hard to start a conversation about protecting the environment, especially when it looks like there is so much harm being done.
Thankfully, there is an easier way. Involving kids in green living doesn’t need to include hard conversations about human impact on the environment. Simply teach them to love nature. Unless children can engage with the world and experience its endless beauty, they will not care about protecting it.
Here are a few ways to help get kids excited about protecting the environment.
Camping is one of the best ways to allow kids to immerse themselves in nature. It lets them explore wild places, such as national parks, and discover all the adventures life has to offer.
Be sure to involve kids in setting up tents and gathering kindling for the fire. Enlisting their help in these activities can give them a sense of responsibility and stewardship in caring for the planet.
Use Art to Inspire
Practicing green living at home doesn’t need to be difficult. There are so many ways to make sustainable living fun for kids. For example, show them how to decorate their own reusable bags. Buy plain canvas ones and turn them into an arts and crafts project, with each child decorating their own. Your children will be excited to bring them the next time you head to the grocery store.
While lying on a hammock by the beach is a great way to pass the time, many children will enjoy involvement in outdoor activities that let them move around. Explore different outdoor adventure programs such as hiking, fishing or kayaking. Many programs cater to children who may have limited mobility or need an alternative way to explore nature.
Use Interactive Examples
Use outdoor excursions as an opportunity to talk about climate change, sustainability and what can be done to protect the earth. Kids tend to learn best by doing, so the best way to teach them about environmental stewardship is by engaging in activities they can learn from.
For example, if you want to teach children about water pollution, go to a local waterway to collect trash and start a conversation about how people can change their consumption habits.
Gather and Grow Food
There is really no better way to get kids excited about the environment than teaching them how to grow food. It can be exciting for kids to get a glimpse of where their food comes from. If you have limited space, try planting a couple of tomatoes on the patio or some basil on the kitchen counter. There is a certain magic in watching plants photosynthesize, especially when it gives you a healthy snack.
To get your children involved in nature, try looking for wildflowers or identifying types of trees. Support your child’s natural inclination to ask why flowers are certain colors or why that tree has yellow leaves. Teaching the importance of observation encourages your children to see the world around them as an exciting mystery that they can explore.
Teaching Sustainability to Children
Before kids can take action to protect the environment, they need to be shown the many benefits of nature. There is no better way to achieve this than by immersing yourself in the natural world, going camping or taking a hike. Respect for the planet comes from interacting with it, so teach your kids how to care for the environment by collecting trash or growing your own food.
Children love to explore, observe and interact with everything around them. Engaging with nature is the best way to encourage its protection.