How to raise eco-friendly children

how to raise eco-friendly children vidya sury

The moment our children are born (and often even before they enter the world) we are concerned about a child hitting milestones.

Is my child sleeping through the night?

Has she mastered the potty chair?

Can he share his toys without biting? Are they able to multiply two digit numbers?

And the list goes on and on.

While these skills are important in their own right, today’s parents are starting to see value in teaching children how to be eco-conscious and are looking for ways to instill a love for our planet. We now see the merit in learning to sort recyclables or reducing energy consumption. If our children don’t learn the ways to care for our planet, we will be setting them up for failure in the future.

Raising Eco-Friendly Children: Tips For Going Green

Thankfully, parents are able to lead by example. By implementing activities in the home we can foster awareness in our children and give them the skills needed to navigate the uncertain future of global warming and pollution.

Teaching simple eco-friendly techniques today, will help children develop their desire to seek out ways to reduce their imprints on the environment tomorrow.

Parents can take advantage of a child’s curiosity and caring nature to influence our son’s and daughter’s habits.

Listed below are ten ways we can make this happen:

  1. Explore the outdoors. Children who intimately experience nature are more likely to see the value in protecting our environment. You don’t have to take great expeditions to Yellowstone or embrace your inner survivalist to expose your children to green spaces. Play in the backyard, take a walk in a local park, watch the clouds, or listen to the sounds around you.
  1. Embrace local and seasonal food. Take advantage of a child’s natural curiosity about food and baking. Use their interest to teach children about the importance of good food and wastefulness. While you don’t have to forbid the occasional fast food or head of lettuce in January, you can expose children to farmer’s markets, local egg producers, and visit nearby farms as you put something delicious on the dinner table.
  1. Head to the library. Swiping your library card can help your family become more eco-friendly by reducing potential waste and saving you a little green in the process. Take advantage of the books, movies, magazines, newspapers, and other resources available in your community. As an added bonus, you can also participate in classes or workshops to raise your eco-IQ.
  1. Get involved as a family. Seek out opportunities to volunteer and lead by example to send the message you value caring for the environment. Pick up trash, clean parks, or spend an afternoon at the community gardens.
  1. Reduce, reuse, and recycle! Involve children in this process by allowing them to sort recyclables, compost food waste, or repurpose old belongings. For inspiration turn to the Internet or sites like Pinterest to help children see the potential in old furniture, books, containers, and clothing!
  1. Grow something! Whether you sign up for an allotment in a community garden or use a container on your front porch, this experience is a great way for children to experience gardening and the environment firsthand. Start small and enjoy the opportunity to work together as a family.
  1. Seek yard sales and second hand stores. One of the easiest ways to make a difference in our environment is to curb consumerism. Instead of heading to the local mall when you need something, first try to find a gently used item before buying new. Besides the economic boost to your wallet, you are reducing waste heading to landfills and finding new treasures in the process!
  1. Look for DIY projects that include the whole family. Young children and teens are capable of using tools and taking an active role in weatherizing or building projects. Choose easy projects for beginners like installing weather stripping or making a rain barrel.
  1. Use books, movies, and television to educate children on the virtues of green living. Use these stories to offer new insights or perspectives to help children understand the world around them.
  1. Make it a game. Encourage children to hunt for “vampires” (devices that draw electric currents even when turned off) and have them unplug these draining devices. Show them how to turn off lights or reduce water consumption, but make it fun!

Empowering Children For Tomorrow’s Challenges

With all the negative predictions about the world we are leaving our children, it can be difficult to keep our chins up. Thankfully, there is hope as we raise our children to become more eco-friendly by instilling a love for the environment early. With our guidance, we can help our children understand how when small acts are combined they really can make a difference.

As parents, we need to challenge ourselves to raise eco-friendly children and help them reach global milestones by pooling together for the common good. What is one thing you will do today to make this happen?

Thank you, Amy.

Amy Williams is  a free-lance journalist based in Southern California and mother of two. As a parent, she enjoys spreading the word on positive parenting techniques in the digital age and raising awareness on issues like cyberbullying and online safety.

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  • Reply
    October 4, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    Definitely Vidya. It’s the need of the hour. Thankfully schools have also woken up to this and I see so much of projects and workshops around sustainability.
    Asha recently posted…That Day After EverydayMy Profile

  • Reply
    Angel Stew & Devil's Brew
    October 4, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    I absolutely agree Vidya. The more children are outside experiencing nature the more love and respect they will have for our planet as a whole.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      October 5, 2016 at 8:35 am

      Hey Angel! Thanks for coming by! My childhood was more or less like this. I met the internet only when I was 35, can you believe it? We got our first fridge when I was 22 or so. Our main source of entertainment via technology at home was the radio,IF it was able to catch those air waves. I loved it then, and I love it now 🙂
      Vidya Sury recently posted…My Life Is My MessageMy Profile

      • Reply
        Angel Stew & Devil's Brew
        October 6, 2016 at 10:39 pm

        Wow Vidya! I cannot believe you were 35 when you met the internet! That’s crazy. And I can’t imagine growing up without a fridge. I could live with just a radio. I’m not much of a t.v. watcher and unless the kids are home it’s not on. I do love Netflix and Hulu and HBO tho and I have a few shows I watch on there but they all fit into my time slot. I don’t have to rearrange my day for them. 🙂

  • Reply
    Beat About the Book
    October 5, 2016 at 10:11 am

    I love this post Vidya. And I’m glad to note we are doing some of those things on that list. We go for nature walks pretty regularly even if it is nowhere too far. I hope to take them to a real farmer’s market someday – not the swanky affairs in big hotels – but the real one where they can interact with people actually growing the vegetables. Waiting for these darned exams to be over. Interestingly kids love all of it and don;t even remember their gadgets as long as they’re allowed to touch and feel and climb trees. Feels good.
    Beat About the Book recently posted…Finding gratitude during examsMy Profile

  • Reply
    October 5, 2016 at 11:52 am

    I’m saving this post for the future. You know, just in case I decide to have kids later on. Will you be the gorgeous Godmother for them? 😀

    I’ll send this to a lot of people i know. Believe me I know very highly educated people who still don’t realize that they have to protect the environment. They need to read this first. And then inculcate it in their children.

    Thanks for this post.

    Soumya recently posted…Action Replay: September 2016My Profile

  • Reply
    Vasantha Vivek
    October 5, 2016 at 11:57 am

    Loved all your ponters in this post. It’s our responsibility to raise eco friendly kids.
    Vasantha Vivek recently posted…This MOM’s LifeMy Profile

  • Reply
    Jemima Pett
    October 5, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    The biggest problem we have about raising eco-friendly children is the tendency of children to rebel against what their parents did. So bringing them up to take care of the planet without making them embarrassed by their parents’ gooky ways is a tough call. WWF UK had a huge amount of data showing how kids are eco-warriors up to the age puberty hits, at which point they turn into as rampant a consumer as their society lets them be.

    But somehow, some parents manage to do it – after all, my parents got me right in the right places (although I may have had a consumerist phase between 12 & 18) – so keep doing your best, everyone, until our global society realises that we do really only have one planet to supply all our needs.

    Thanks, Vidya <3
    Jemima Pett recently posted…#IWSG – When is your story ready?My Profile

  • Reply
    October 6, 2016 at 6:29 am

    To raise children in harmony with nature is one of humanity’s biggest challenges. A wonderful take, Vidya.

  • Reply
    Debbie D.
    October 6, 2016 at 9:54 am

    Excellent advice for everyone, not just children. I’ll admit I haven’t been to a library in years. That’s such a great resource!
    Debbie D. recently posted…THE GREAT UNVEILING: PRESENTING THE DOGLADY’S DEN 2.0!My Profile

  • Reply
    Lea Bullen
    October 7, 2016 at 2:55 am

    Hi Amy and Vidya,

    Starting young is a great way to get kids involved with the environment. Not only will they be more open to the idea but that is the best time to start great habits for them to carryout throughout their lives.

    Lea Bullen recently posted…How You Hit the Glass Ceiling in Life and How to Break ItMy Profile

  • Reply
    Amit Misra
    October 8, 2016 at 2:46 am

    Unknowingly my childhood and that of others in my generation was spent more or less as you have suggested. However, recently I visit my colleagues’ homes and find that they just put their child in front of computer and it plays for hours. Absolutely no exposure to outside world.

  • Reply
    Durga Prasad Dash
    October 8, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    For children of the digital age your prescriptions are the need of the hour.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      October 8, 2016 at 10:15 pm

      Thank you Durga Prasad. You are right. In some sense, I find many people wanting to get back to the way their previous generation lived. 🙂

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