RAISING TOMORROW’S SUSTAINABLE LEADERS
There is a Swedish tradition that involves children at an early age to participate and gain knowledge about sustainability – The Spring Cleanup. This is an old tradition where children at schools pick up trash. This is an annual event and the idea with this is for the children to gain understanding about sustainability by experience, exploring and reflecting when they pick up the trash. It is an attitude-changing project.
Espoo, Finland faces a problem of vandalism at trashcans. To combat this, researchers came up with a solution to let children create art designs on stickers that then were applied onto trashcans. This invited the children to participate in something that may stop vandalism and as well make people throw their trash into the trashcans.
Children are like sponges. It may not seem like it all the time but they do absorb much of what they observe around them. Unlike the generations that used to find a playground cool, kids today have many distractions. A national survey by the Kaiser family Foundation found that children aged 8-11 spend 7.5 hours a day on entertainment media. That’s why the need to teach kids to make better lifestyle choices is a pressing matter.
Here are 7 effective ways to introduce your kids to sustainable living.
PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH
There is no better way to teach and involve kids than to show them how it’s done. Children look up to their parents and the adults at home.
FITNESS CAN BE FUN
Aside from eating more greens, encourages kids to move more — exercise, dance, and play. Getting fit should be fun. Encourage your children to pick up a sport. Make physical activities a part of their daily routine.
HELP AND VOLUNTEER
Take your children and volunteer at local communities. Organize a drive to clean your neighborhood, or involve your kids into gardening and organic farming. As a family join clean groups and teach your children the value of volunteerism.
Promote sustainable living at home by recycling old magazines and plastic bottles. By decorating the house with handmade sustainable items and gifting eco friendly products.
TAKE THEM TO THE MARKET
Take your children to the local farmer’s market for organic and fresh produce. Let them smell the fresh vegetables and pick up what they like.
ALL STARTS AT HOME
Open the windows more and always switch off the lights when not in use. Think solar, take recycling seriously and show your kids how to maintain sustainability at home.
Take your children out for walks or family hikes. Let them enjoy nature and help them learn to respect it. Let them stare at the stars or hear the stream flow. Teach them to respect animals and treat them as an equal part of this planet. You can take pictures or videos for them to remember.
Sustainable living might sound like an overwhelming concept to introduce to kids but it won’t be if you start small and remain at it consistently. There are so many creative ideas to get children involved in an educational yet entertaining way about sustainability. After all they are our future generations and our planet belongs to them.