Every year, Earth Day is celebrated and acknowledged. But what if we treated every day like earth day? The idea may seem impossible, but the truth is that we can start by being an example to the next generation. Here are 8 ways how to raise an environmentally conscious child.
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8 Ways to Raise an Environmentally Conscious Child
1. Normalize Using Hand Me Downs and Taking Care of Belongings
Did you know it takes 900 days’ worth of drinking water to make 1 cotton tee shirt? Kids go through so many clothes mainly because they grow so quickly. Teaching kids to take care of their belongings, including their clothes, and making them last is one way we can teach them to be eco-conscious. Plus, it’s always a great feeling to be able to extend the life of those items and give them to someone else to use.
2. Buy Sustainable Toys or Make Them at Home
When it comes to buying sustainable toys, there are a growing number of brands to choose from. A sustainable toy is any toy that is made from natural, undyed (unless died naturally) materials.
These toys can last a very long time which allows for passing them down. And if the need to dispose of the toy ever came around, if disposed of properly it would naturally decompose in the soil.
Your child might also love making their toys out of recycled materials! Check out these fun ideas for inspiration:
- Free Earth Day Activity Pack
- Make a Dino Head from Cardboard
Another option that helps with keeping plastic toys out of landfills is to keep the plastic toys you may have in good condition. Doing so can ensure that when your child is done with them, they can be donated and reused. It’s also a good idea to try and buy these types of toys second-hand.
3. Incorporate Eco-Conscious Habits into their Daily Routines
Routines are essential for children, especially young children. Among other reasons, they help kids develop rhythms in life that they will carry over into adulthood.
The following are a few ways you can incorporate being eco-conscious into a child’s daily routine:
- Turn off the lights when they leave a room or if there’s enough sunlight coming in
- Turn off the water when brushing teeth, lathering hands, etc…
- Take Care of Belongings to ensure they last
- Reuse recyclable items for arts and crafts
- Learn to dispose of things properly
4. Cut Out Plastic
Another way we can teach our kids to be eco-conscious is to get them used to use products that have a long life and don’t need to be replaced often. Examples of these types of items for kids are:
- Reusable Water Bottle
- Glass Drinking Cups
- Sandwich Containers
- Natural Sustainable Toys
- Bamboo Toothbrush
- Shampoo and Conditioner Bars
- Reusable Straws
- Cloth Diapers or Biodegradable Diapers
- Reusable Cutlery
5. Teach Them to Eat Less Meat
The current agricultural industry has a huge role to play in the climate crisis we find ourselves in today. To see positive changes in our climate take place, we must see major changes take place in agriculture. One way we can inspire change is to alter our diets.
You don’t have to become a vegan to make an impact. The reality is that we can all incorporate at least 1 meatless meal a day.
6. Eat Healthy Home-Made Meals
Many homes these takes heavily rely on weekly take-out meals. These take-out meals are not only unhealthy but they also leave behind so much waste.
Homemade meals, meal planning and homemade snacks are all great ways to avoid buying fast food and accumulating so much waste. Instead of buying chicken nuggets and fries, why not pack your child some homemade fries and a sandwich?
Taking a lunch bag full of food from home on a long trip or outing will not only save your wallet but also help to save the Earth.
7. Take Them Outside!
You’d be surprised how much more they’ll appreciate the Earth and nature if they spend a lot of time in it.
Outdoor activities like camping and exploring are great for exposing kids to the Earth and how much we rely on it for life.
8. Be an Example
This may be the most obvious one, but it’s probably the most important one.
Kids learn by example. They will copy whatever we do, so if we naturally lean toward caring for the environment they will too.
As parents, we must teach them that it is our God-given responsibility to steward the Earth. We must love what He loves and cherish what He made.
Need an activity to teach your little one about Earth Day? Check out this Free Earth Day Printable Pack and enjoy 4 fun Earth Day activities!