It's never too early to teach your kids the necessity of being respectful towards Mother Nature. Sustainability is a way of life, and when your child becomes habituated to it at an early stage, they will deeply hold on to those values all their life. At a time when our planet is facing a severe climate crisis, it's the need of the hour to make our future generation more aware and conscious of their interactions with nature.
Here are 6 ways you can teach your kids to be eco-friendly.
1. Step out
The more your kids spend time outside in nature, the more they develop a strong connection with it. So on weekends and holidays, make an effort to go out from the confines of the four walls, take them out into a park, farm, or forest—any place that is located in the lap of nature. From childhood, when your child becomes accustomed to seeing the inexplicable beauty of the natural world, they are likely to be more drawn toward taking care of the environment.
2. Promote recycling
Recycle old items, and motivate your kids to do the same. This simple act can have an immense impact on their consciousness as a child, and as they grow up, recycling will become a habit in their daily life. For instance, your child might have an old scarf that they don't use anymore. Instead of throwing it away, turn it into a dress for their doll. Teach them why it's important to reduce, reuse and recycle, how our planet is burdened with heavy amounts of waste, and how we can bring about a change by taking small steps, consistently.
3. Teach and practice conservation
To make your child eco-conscious, you must teach them about the importance of conservation. You can do so through simple daily habits. Things like not wasting food and water, turning off electronic items when they are not in use, and using environment-friendly modes of transport whenever possible—these are some ways you can inculcate the idea of conservation in their minds. Tell them more about renewable and non-renewable resources, so they actually understand why conservation is needed to make the world a better place.
4. Encourage them to grow plants
When your child plants and grows a plant with their own hands, it's inevitable they will develop an attachment towards it. This pure form of affection or attachment eventually transforms into a deep-seated love for the natural world. Encourage your kids to grow plants in your backyard or front yard, wherever you have some space. If you already have a garden, that's a great beginning. But if you don't, you can build one from scratch, and ask your little one to give you company.
5. Engage them in community activities
Participating in community activities harbors kindness and empathy in your children. And in case those activities are taking place outdoors, they'll get to spend a considerable amount of time in touch with nature, learn more about the environment, and understand how nature nurtures us. For example, your child can take part in a volunteer program at a local farm, where they can have hands-on experience with sustainable farming practices.
6. Encourage their love of animals
Harboring a love for animals is another way you can reach your kids to be eco-friendly. Take them to animal shelters, so they can have a look at the animal world, and develop a connection with them. Have conversations about how pollution impacts animals, and how we can keep the environment clean and green to make it more liveable for the animal kingdom.
Children don't understand heavy jargon, but they understand actions. As parents, when you are being responsible towards the environment, remember, your children are watching and learning from you. Kids emulate adults, so being eco-conscious yourself can be the stepping stone for imbibing the same values in your little ones. Today's kids are the future of the planet, and it's important to develop in them love, affinity, and respect for nature so that when they grow up, they will go the extra mile to take good care of the environment.
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