6 ways to foster environmental consciousness

by Search Gate staff. Published Fri 20 Mar 2015 12:41

One of the most important things we can teach our kids is how to treat the world properly. It might seem like children won’t understand why caring for the planet is important, but you’d be surprised just how excited they get about becoming involved. Not only can this help make the earth greener for them and their future children, but can help them gain a sense of pride in knowing they did something for a great cause. Luckily, there are a number of easy ways to instill these good habits in your children.

Let Them Experience Nature

For kids, it’s more about getting them involved and interacting with nature than sharing the statistics about how the earth has been degraded. Environmental educator David Sobel stated that, "One transcendent experience in nature is worth a thousand nature facts." Some fantastic ways to give your children meaningful experiences with nature are to go camping, take regular hikes, and visit beaches or national parks. This contact with the outdoors will help them develop a real appreciation for the world around them.

Create Your Own Recycling Bins

A fun project to complete with your children is to create their own recycling bins. Help them decorate small bins so they can learn to sort what can and can’t be recycled. Kids will feel a great sense of connection to this task since they made the bins themselves, creating habits that will last a lifetime.

Ensure This Education Extends Outside the Home

You don’t want all of your hard work striving to make your kids more environmentally conscious to go out the window as soon as they leave home. To ensure that this doesn’t happen, search for education facilitiesthat share your culture of green living. Try to find a school or care center that teaches about ecology and stewardship. Reinforcing these principles outside the home can go a long way in creating lifelong habits.

Visit Zoos, Nature and Science Centers

Another great way to develop an environmental consciousness in your children is to take them to zoos, science and nature centers, or other places where they can learn about the environment and humans’ impact on the earth. When children see the amazing animals at the zoo or other facilities and learn what they can do to make their lives better, it won’t be difficult to get your children to practice green habits.

Lead By Example

Arguably the most important thing you can do to instill an environmental awareness in your children is to lead by example. Any time it’s available, purchase recycled goods, conserve water and electricity, and use reusable containers. When your kids see that treating the world and our resources with respect is important to you, these values will better translate into their own lives.

Start A Garden

While this may seem like more of a challenge than the others, starting a garden with your kids is a fantastic way to teach them how the earth gives us food, and will also teach them responsibility. In fact, in ADDitudemag.com, Ellen Kingsley explains how working in a garden can be extremely beneficial to the emotional maturity of children, especially for children with issues like ADD and ADHD.

Our children are the future, and we need to instill a love and appreciation for green living and environmental responsibility if we want them to have the best life possible. Start by implementing some of the above strategies with your children today.

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