Written by a contributing writer
1. Choose Eco-Friendly ProductsBefore you show your children how to appreciate the earth, you'll need to make some changes to your own habits and household usage. Start with your buying habits in your home. Swap out your paper products for eco-friendly items. Switch any old appliances out for energy saving options. Look for natural products produced by companies that are committed to protecting the environment. Some of these products may cost a bit more, but in the end, you could spend less on utilities.
2. Eat a Plant-Based DietYou can also show your children your commitment to being environmentally responsible in your diet. Eliminate items such as red meat from your diet and focus on foods that are plant-based. Stop buying produce and other items that aren't in season and require excessive shipping and processing. Visit local farmer's markets and choose items that are grown in your area to show your children eco-friendly foods. You can also start your own garden to give them ideas about producing food.
3. Practice RecyclingRecycling is another big part of an eco-friendly household. Set up a system in your house that sorts items from the trash and into the recycling bins. Teach your children about which items are able to be recycled and which ones should be thrown away. Create a composting pile in your backyard and model using it with your kids. This way, you can reduce your garbage over time.
4. Promote Reusing ObjectsNext, show your children how effective it is to reuse items instead of throwing them away. Instead of buying brand new clothes, toys, and household objects, visit yard sales, thrift stores, or other spots to buy secondhand items. You can also save money big time by avoiding the sticker shock of a brand new item. When your children outgrow clothing or toys, get them involved in the process of putting them up for sale or donating them to a good cause.
5. Reduce Water WasteModeling responsible water usage is another way you can show your children how to live an eco-friendly lifestyle. Explain the problem with water in the world today by showing them news stories and information about ventures like the Cadiz Water Project. Teach them how to take shorter showers and leave off the water when brushing their teeth. Encourage using rainwater collection ideas, such as a rain barrel for watering plants and the grass.
6. Take Field TripsField trips are another great idea if you want to expose your kids to all different types of environmental education. One eye-opening experience that could change your kids' perspective is a trip to the local landfill. Show your children the amount of waste that goes into the landfill each day to give them a real sense of what the planet is facing for the future.
7. Explore the OutdoorsFinally, it's also important to teach your kids to appreciate the beauty of the earth each day. You can do this by exploring different parts of your region's outdoor attractions. Check out local parks, forests, hiking trails, and more to give your children a better idea of what is at stake with the environment. When they see the raw beauty of the land, they may be more likely to work harder to protect it.
If you want to help the planet stay healthy for the next generation, you must work hard to teach children what needs to be done. Model these environmentally-friendly practices with your kids to raise children who appreciate the earth.