The polar ice caps are melting, air pollution is rising to drastic levels, and there are many more natural disasters than there used to be. The effects of global warming are obvious and evident. More and more, nay sayers are admitting that the warming of our planet is a real and dire problem. While some of us might only be partially effected, our children and future generations will be forced to live on a vastly different planet full of challenges as a result of global warming, like rising sea levels and toxic air. One of the most important steps to protect our future generations is to teach children how to be more conscious about the environment. Here are 5 ways to teach kids to be environmentally friendly.
- As a parent, one of the best ways to teach your children to be more eco-friendly is to lead by example. Make sure that you abide by a strict checklist of greener life choices, like recycling and composting, purchasing an electric or hybrid vehicle, taking shorter showers, and keeping unnecessary lights off in the house. If we can be a positive role model to our children and make environmentally friendly choices ourselves, than our kids will be more inclined to as well.
- Have a contest. One of the best ways to get kids interested is to have a contest. Who ever can make their house or school greener will win some sort of prize, like going out for pizza or a day at the mini-golf course. Kids love a good challenge and this is a great way to get them motivated to make more environmentally friendly decisions, like replacing incandescent light bulbs with LED lights or getting rid of appliances that suck up energy.
- Take your children on a hike. There are plenty of environmental data resources that say that much of the world’s forests will be gone in less than a 100 years as a result of deforestation. One of the best ways to teach your kids about deforestation and to get them in touch with nature is to go to a protected national forest and ask them how they would feel if all of it would go away. How would they feel if all the animals died, because they didn’t have a home?
- Teach your kids about the benefits of recycling and composting. If you have a backyard you can build a compost bin where your child can take old food and turn it into mulch. You can also teach them about the process of recycling and why it is so vital to our planet.
- Lastly, take your child to a landfill. They will see first hand the ravages of our indiscriminately wasteful disposal habits. Explain to them that the earth only has so much room to conceal all this waste. One of the best ways to drive a point home to your children is making them see things first hand and make it an experience that they will remember forever. Children are impressionable, but for the right reasons at times, especially if we can help them make more eco-friendly decisions.