Raising a child is the toughest job there is: kids learn by copying adults, so before you know it, your best and worst habits will be hitting home in your mini-me edition. If you want your child to grow into a healthy, positive, and eco-conscious adult, start sowing the green lifestyle seeds early on. Here are a few things you can do to lay down solid foundations for your child’s eco-friendly adult life and help them develop healthy habits both themselves and their environment will benefit from.
1. Encourage an active lifestyle
Regular exercise is essential for preserving seamless health. Unfortunately, the 21st-century tech craze is already taking a hefty toll on the youngest, which is why every parent should invest extra effort in order to foster healthy habits in their children. Take your kids biking, walking, or swimming whenever possible, and encourage them to take an interest in outdoor activities rather than letting them spend hours playing video games. Excursions and weekend outings will help your little one forge lasting bonds with nature, and that is one of the most valuable assets for a fulfilled, green life.
2. Shop wisely
Shopping malls are cool, but greenmarkets are cooler. Take your child grocery shopping to the local farmer’s market, and encourage them to learn how different plants are grown. Whole-family grocery shopping is also an excellent way for your child to learn more about healthy diet and benefits of fresh produce over junk food. If possible, buy organic fruit and veggies and explain to your kids that clean eating is less hazardous for both themselves and the planet than a diet structured around takeout and heavily processed foods.
3. Choose toys wisely
If possible, buy your kids toys made from natural materials. Eco-friendly playthings are durable, fun, and healthy, and many of them promote cognitive development and problem-solving skills based on age and interests. Video games are also welcome for as long as your child plays them in moderation and does not develop screen addiction. For example, Poptropica is an online role playing game that can teach your children valuable lessons about the environment and teamwork, help them develop spatial skills, and learn more about mythology, ancient civilizations, and arts.
4. Let them grow their greenery
Gardening can be fun if presented in an engaging way, so set aside a few hours of your spare time to teach your kids the basics of vegetable growing. You can plant a few low-maintenance plants in a pot which you will place in the kitchen or out on the balcony come springtime, or you can encourage your kid to grow their own beanstalk from a bean. Gardening projects will help your kid grow a green thumb, and every child will be extremely proud to contribute to DIY family farming and bring fresh food to the dinner table.
5. Explain energy efficiency
Explain to your child why it is important to turn off the TV, lights, and laptop when they are not using them. Tell your child that water is very scarce in some parts of the world and that wasting clean H2O is bad for the planet and other people. You can show them how to minimize their impact on the planet by replacing conventional for eco-friendly add-ons such as low-flow faucet heads and energy-efficient bulbs, and taking old batteries to the local recycling plant.
Teaching the principles of a green lifestyle to kids is easy and rewarding, and childhood lessons on eco-friendly choices are a parent’s best investment in a sustainable future for the planet as a whole. We all need to do our share of green work if we want to make the world a better place for the generations to come and teaching them to respect Nature and live in harmony with it is a good start.