Growing Up Green: Teaching Your Kids To Be Eco-Conscious

It’s been said that we did not inherit the Earth from our forefathers, but rather that we are simply borrowing it from our children. But faced with the reality that our natural resources are not only finite, but also dwindling, how do concerned parents begin to instill a sense of eco-consciousness in their children? How young is too young to foster the ideas of greener living and energy efficiency in kids? And perhaps most importantly, what steps can adults take to begin raising children that realize that they are stewards of the precious environment in which they live?

The simple truth is there is no greater potential danger to our planet than a generation that grows up without concern for the world’s delicate ecosystems and fragile resources. Here’s a look at some simple steps that every parent can take to teach their children – no matter how young – the importance of being eco-conscious:

Point Out Connections

Children are naturally full of questions. Use that curiosity to your advantage as you teach your child about the world around them. Point out trees, forests, streams, woods, oceans and other natural resources as you pass them during your daily life. Show them that animals live in nature, and that it’s important to take care of these things so that the animals have a place to live.
Letting your children know that the things they use every day, like the paper they use for their homework and the stuffed animals they play with before bed, are made from natural resources like trees and cotton plants. Showing them these connections will help you explain why you need to be mindful of the things you have, and not waste things unnecessarily.

Make Recycling Part of Every Day

Recycling should be part of your child’s life from day one. If it’s an idea they grow up with, it’s one they will take with them into their adult lives. And keep in mind that recycling can go well beyond separating plastics and aluminum before taking out the trash. Hand down or donate clothes that have been outgrown, repurpose furniture from one area of the house to another, and create crafts and homemade gifts from items you’d normally toss in the trash. It may be a simple birdfeeder or butterfly garden right now, but the reality is, you’re teaching your little one much more than just how to reuse orange juice cartons and plastic containers. You’re also showing her the importance of maximizing the limited resources we’ve been given.

Teach Them the Value of Electricity

Televisions, DVD players, PS3 players, laptops, tablets, cell phones, Dsi’s… kids today seem to have more electronic devices than ever before. Teach them that keeping those things plugged in at all times creates a drain on the family electrical bill, even when they’re not being used. Have them unplug their devices if they’re not on or being charged – or simply put a power strip in their room which they can switch off at the end of the night.

Lead By Example

Perhaps the most important step you can take in the quest to teach your children to lead a greener life is to be eco-minded yourself. Switch the lights off as you leave the room, keep your own power strip unplugged when not in use, swap out your incandescent light bulbs for more energy efficient LED versions, and keep your carbon footprint in mind before making a major purchasing decision. Remember, you are your child’s first teacher, and their biggest inspiration.

Author Bio:
Sam Jones is often on the internet looking at energy comparison sites, to bring his readers all the latest news.
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