My daughter was assigned a project at school asking her to share the things she would do if she were President. Among her very lofty and creative goals, she included, “Make college free for everyone” (my personal favorite) and “Send people to jail when they litter.” The latter might be a little extreme, but I appreciated the fact that caring for the environment was among her priorities.
Teaching our children to respect the environment and the planet are extremely important. After all, they are the ones who will inherit it and prepare it for the generations to come. With so many environmental concerns and pollution problems we face, we need to be particularly mindful of passing on better values and habits to our kids.
Here are 5 ways to teach your kids to respect the environment:
Grow a Garden
Learning a bit about where food comes from is an important piece of education that too many children miss. Gardening teaches children about the cycles and seasons of nature, the work that goes into food production, and how the environment affects your gardening efforts. How weather affects your garden may instill a healthy respect for Mother Nature.
Taking your kids camping is a wonderful way to get them out into the natural world. As you do, teach them about the responsibilities involved in camping, such as the proper technique for extinguishing a campfire, and how to carry trash back with you out of the wilderness area. If you see trash lying about in the area, point it out to your kids and note how it spoils the landscape.
Consider implementing a natural diet in your family. This is just another way to foster an appreciation for nature and her gifts, and it may inspire your kids to preserve those small farms and sustainable agriculture that brings them such foods.
Explore Environmental Careers
See if you can arrange a tour of a local factory or plant, and ask them to show you all the environmental protection measures they have in place (such as filters on smoke stacks, or proper disposal techniques for chemical waste). This may inspire your child to go into such a career, or may simply help them appreciate what goes into caring for the environment.
Lead by example
Last, but certainly not least, we know our children are always looking toward us to set an example. Even if you’re still just a little “light green,” taking small steps around the house and community can go a long way in instilling a sense of responsibility and respect for the environment.
What are some ways you teach your kids to respect the environment?