Trying to implement sustainability for the WHOLE family should be something fun and exciting, not daunting and overwhelming. Since we all know that kids are like little sponges, getting them to start thinking about the ways that they consume from a young age is so important. Here's a list of 8 ways that you can get your kiddos on board, while still keeping it interesting for them too!
1. Show them how things can have more than one use. Why not rinse out your peanut butter jar to turn it into a craft? Check out these amazing and easy ideas from Lovely Indeed.
2. Give kids a weekly or monthly sustainability focus. Every time they complete the goal, they can check it off or receive a small reward. One idea: using less water! Remind your kids to turn the tap off while they brush their teeth. Show them how much water we actually use if we let it run by placing a big bowl into the sink for them. Each time they remember, they get an extra story or few minutes of play time!
3. Explain recycling to them. So many of us are still very confused by what goes where. Learn with your kids! If you're unsure of something, find out together. Help them stay on top of this by being in charge of recycling at home and bringing cans and bottles to your recycling depot together. Share the earnings with them to give them some incentive to keep it up!
4. Set up a quarterly donation date. Getting your kids to start thinking about secondhand as second nature is a great way to introduce sustainability into their lives. Task them with filling a bag of the items they no longer use and going to donate them together. Perhaps each visit, they can pick a small item of their choosing to remind them of the importance of a circular economy.
5. Teach them about food sustainability and waste! This is such a big one and something that every child should be aware of. A great way to start: Plant a garden with them! Kids can watch small seedlings grow in a window sill until the warm weather comes, and learn how they can be more sustainable by planting their own food come summertime!
6. Put them in charge of reusable bags for the grocery store. Store them somewhere that they can easily grab and be accountable for remembering. This can help them with so much more than just thinking about sustainability!
7. Trash pickup. Make a game out of participating in Leave No Trace. Every so often, get them to bring a bag and pair of gloves on a nature walk and pick up trash along the way.
8. Include books about the planet and our environment! Helping kids learn about how their actions impact the environment will help them to understand why all of these changes are so important. Kiddos more interested in Youtube? Here's a great video to teach them the basics of sustainability.
Have you started doing any of these at home? Have any other suggestions that might be helpful for other parents? Let us know in the comments section below!
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