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Tips for Teaching Children to be Environmentally Conscious

Climate change is a global problem. We all have a part to play. For future generations, the role is a critical one as the burden of reducing carbon footprints will most likely fall on our children. As we celebrate Earth Day on April 22, there is no better time than the present and no better audience than our children for teaching the importance of saving our planet.

 

Going green doesn't have to mean going crazy. Empowering your children to take these 5 simple steps will make saving the planet easier for your family and will go a long way to teaching your children to be environmentally responsible.

 

1. Make your own cleaning products. Kids love mixing and creating. With your help, let them make their own concoctions using white vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice as alternatives to harsh chemicals. If they are old enough to understand, explain to them how toxic chemicals are harmful to the Earth as well as to them.

 

2. Ditch plastic water bottles. Invest in a water filtration system and buy reusable water bottles for yourself and for your child's lunchbox. There is a wide variety of reusable bottles on the market, and most are available in bright, colorful designs. Add some fun by allowing your children to choose their own bottles. They will take pride in their choices, and they'll be more likely to make regular use of the bottles. 

 

3. Teach your children the importance and ease of recycling. Setting up clearly labeled and easily accessible containers in your home will enable children to take the initiative to recycle.

 

4. Teach your children to conserve energy. Simple, everyday tasks like turning off lights and running water can add up to make a huge difference.

 

5. Eat local and organically grown produce. By eating local produce, you reduce the emissions associated with transporting foods from all over the globe. By choosing organic produce, you eliminate the chemicals involved in growing and producing the food. Although organic produce is higher in cost than its conventionally grown counterpart, the savings that result from buying less and cooking at home will balance the costs.

 

6. To make the above initiatives even more effective, try tying them in with the following events:

  • Environmental Education Week - April 10 - 16, 2011
  • Earth Day - April 22, 2011
  • Arbor Day - April 29, 2011

 

Teaching our children to love Mother Earth and to make small daily changes in their lives will go a long way to stop climate change. View the movement to stop climate change as an opportunity to show them what their generation can do to make a global impact. Raising awareness and educating our children could mean the difference between an animal facing extinction and an animal thriving in its natural habitat.

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Comment by Sheila Hill on April 12, 2011 at 7:59pm
Thanks, Cristie and Stacey. It can be overwhelming to implement the above strategies all at once. Taking it one step at a time will make it easier for everyone involved. They are so many ways to conserve resources and reduce waste. The key is to try different ways and stick with what works best for your family. Every little bit counts.
Comment by Stacey Crew on April 12, 2011 at 7:05pm
Thanks, Sheila! Easy tips for helping busy moms make time to teach their children, myself included. You're right about making your own cleaning products. It's easy and we had fun choosing the scents from a variety of essential oils. I'm always amazed at the amount of recycling we have in our house. It's made me think that perhaps I need to buy a waffle maker instead of pre-made packaged waffles and granola from a health food store to cut down on the cereal boxes. All good things to think about. Thanks again!
Comment by Cristie Ritz King on April 12, 2011 at 11:24am

This is a great post. We do these things in our house and so for my kids they know no other way. I'm thrilled it will be one less thing they have to "fix" when they grow up as the habits will be set for them.

Thanks for sharing!

 

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