Not so long ago, most kids would jump at the opportunity to build a sand castle at the beach or a snowman during the winter. However, things are a bit different now. Today’s youth are presented with a lot of distractions keeping them from their innate love for the environment, largely due to advancements in technology. Most children now are choosing to spend time behind screens; whether it’s playing games on their iPads, watching videos on YouTube, or just keeping up with friends on chat or social media.
At the same time, the state of the environment is comprised, so it’s more important than ever that each and every single one of us recognizes the importance of caring for the health of our natural environment. So, what can we do as parents not only to help instill not only a love for mother nature but an understanding of the importance of being kind to our planet?
We’ve outlined below some fun ideas for getting your kids to take action.
Set a good example at home and get them involved
- Our kids look up to us, so make sure that every action that you take is one that you’d want your young ones to mimic (talk to them about why you’re focused on conserving electricity and water, and on minimizing waste – and then get them involved!)
- Teach them about reusing (upcycling) and recycling through various different arts and crafts projects. Good Housekeeping has some great tips
- Get them involved in your household composting chore and talk to them about the value of composting (for reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills)
- Make a game out to help instill good habits, where everyone in the house (parents included!) accrues points each time they remember to do something green, such as:
- Turning off the water on while brushing their teeth
- Switching off the light when they leave a room
- Making sure the front door is fully closed
- Making sure the fridge is fully closed
Get them outside
- Setting a limit on the amount that they’re allowed to spend behind the screen each day is a good idea
- Find activities that you can do as a family that will help them appreciate their natural surroundings. Some creative ideas include:
- Going to the park and identifying different flowers and trees together, then writing them down and learning about them later
- Ask them to help you work on your fruit/vegetable garden, while educating them on the environmental benefits of eating locally soured or homegrown produce
- Foraging for food so they see where it comes from is also a great way for them to see the interconnectedness of the planet
- Now that the weather is finally warming up, start walking or biking with them to school instead of driving (and of course talk about why biking is much eco-friendlier and other things that are eco-friendly of course!)
- Fly a kite together and take the opportunity to talk to them about wind energy and other types of renewable energy
Let them be a part of the conversation
- Discuss environmental issues at hand and answer their questions – understanding why and how (and the science behind it) can help encourage kids with their conservation efforts
Volunteer together at a local park or environmental non-profit (like for one of our respected partners, GrowNYC, Green Guerillas, or La Casita Verde)
- Many communities sponsor green activities (like cleaning up a garden, or even gardening) that can get help your kids get their hands dirty and see how they’re able to make a difference
Stock the bookshelf with inspiration
- Some wonderful green children’s books include:
Swap out gifts for experiences
- Toys break, or kids get quickly tired of them and eventually end up in landfills
- Instead, take your kids on an educational adventure, such as:
- Visiting a nature or science museum
- Spending the day at a local/national park
Getting your kids to love and care about the environment is important for the future of our planet. These are just a few of the many things that you can do to help them develop and nurture this crucial relationship.
Kiwi Energy is dedicated to sustainability and helping improve our planet for all of its inhabitants. We do this by offering environmentally conscious products and supporting organizations and groups running environmentally focused projects through the Ecogold Environmental Fund. For every new customer acquired by Kiwi Energy, a portion of the proceeds are donated to the fund.
Remember to sign up for Kiwi Energy and join us in our mission of creating a more sustainable future.