How to teach your children about sustainability
We need to take great care of our planet- for our future and the future of our children. The global pandemic has really tried and tested humanity, but it has also demonstrated that together we can achieve great things. We all need to contribute to make our planet cleaner, greener, and healthier and to ensure that it becomes a way of life for our children. Here are five simple things that you can do together with your children to form good habits to help our planet.
1. Recycle. When children see from an early age that you recycle in the household, they will grow up knowing that it is the norm. Here is a short video to help explain how recycling works and why it is important.
2. Educate. Learn with your children about pollution. For example, take oceans' plastic pollution and the devastating effects it has on marine life. Take action to protects it- next time you are at the beach, pick up five pieces of rubbish and throw it in the bin. Here is a good resource from National Geographic that you can look through with your children to find out more about the oceans and how to protect them.
3. Think local. A carbon footprint is something that we also need to worry about and this website has a wealth of information that you can explore with the children. To help reduce your carbon footprint and teach children about healthy eating, you could turn to local and seasonal produce where possible. Visiting farms and discovering the local countryside could make for a fun day out or a more sustainable alternative to overseas travel.
4. Reuse and reduce. Children have an unlimited and vivid imagination, and that needs to be put to good use. Parents are encouraged to join in this play to model and expand on creativity. A simple stick can become a stirring spoon, a magic wand, a sword, a pen, or even a drill. An empty cardboard box can turn into a car, a rocket, a home for the toys, a robot, or a treasure chest. An empty toilet roll can be used to create faces, animals, binoculars, jewelry, or castles. A plastic bottle makes an awesome jet pack, a piggy bank, a bird feeder, a plant pot, or a lantern.
5. Embrace. Our planet is absolutely amazing and has so many wonderful places. Children, especially those living in the cities, do not have a lot of opportunities to explore, experience, and appreciate nature beyond their local parks and holidays. Documentaries like Our Planet have stunning imagery and can be watched (selectively) by all ages to learn about our planet and what we can do to help.