5 Simple Ways to Raise Green Kids

Every mother knows that close ties between kids and parents are vital for a happy childhood; yet, we’re all too quick to forget that rapport with Mother Nature, who is just as important. The cornerstones of environmental responsibility are laid out at an early age, and it’s up to every mom to chip in and help raise green-minded generations that will keep the planet safe for decades to come.

Photo Credit: Joshua Clay

But while bringing up a future environmentalist sounds like an honorable duty, it’s not always easy to pull off. After all, it’s your kid we’re talking about here. To engender an appreciation for the environment and a sense of service to the greater good in your mini-me, you’ll first need to get him to settle down for a few minutes and to stop picking his nose. Showing your kids the eco-friendly ropes is 100% feasible, granted you have the right tools in your bag of educational tricks. No worries if you don’t; here are a few fail-safe tips that the average Supermom can use when aiming to foster a caring attitude towards nature in her children.

Rinse, Rub, Recycle, Repeat

If your kid thinks recycling is boring, you’re doing it all wrong. Children hate tedious tasks, so try to make recycling fun and challenging if you want to make the lesson stick for longer than a few hours. You can achieve this by gamifying recycling or turning it into a contest: for instance, you can challenge your kids to collect, rinse, and dry as many plastic bottles as possible over the weekend, which you’ll then take to the local recycling plant. You can also tap into the power of online recycling games over at www.rethinkrecycling.com. And if you really want to make the most of your eco-friendly fun, you can persuade other parents in the neighborhood to organize a competition and see which family has the strongest recycling streak in their veins.

Planting the Seeds of an Organic Lifestyle

As a parent, you’re the first and most important role model for your kids, and your mini edition will subconsciously follow your cues in terms of behavior and lifestyle. This is especially true when it comes to habits related to nutrition and physical activity. To make eco-friendly ways stay with your kid for a lifetime, practice what you preach and set an example for them to follow. For bonus entertainment, you can start an organic garden with your child, go grocery shopping together at the local greenmarket, or teach about healthy nutrition choices with the assistance of songs featured at www.songsforteaching.com.

Photo credit: Jenn Richardson

Reuse and Repurpose (for a Green Purpose)

Whoever said you can’t teach an old thing new tricks? Not only do reusing and repurposing fit the eco-friendly bill, but they can also help trim long-term household expenses by a fine figure if handled properly. By donating little worn clothing or exchanging it with other parents via online thrift stores such as www.swap.com, you’ll get to teach your child two lessons:

  • Sharing is caring (and it’s fun too)
  • Frugal living is easy and rewarding

For bonus environmentalism points, you and your little angel can repurpose furniture and other everyday objects, such as discarded palettes. You can find a range of green remodel projects over at playtivities.com. Tinkering with boards, screws, and cans of paint will also allow you and your kid to spend quality time together and will strengthen your bond.

Give Hi-Tech the Heave-Ho for Real-Life Fun

Are you raising your child to be a healthy and responsible adult or a click-happy tech addict? It’s a dire fact of the 21st century: screen addiction is all too real a danger for both adults and kids living in an increasingly digitalized age, but its effects don’t boil down to just eye strain and headaches. For a child to develop appreciation and respect for nature, it needs to be in touch with it, and that’s not exactly easy if your little one spends all their spare time glued to a TV screen. It’s up to every parent to step in and limit their child’s screen time in favor of environmentally (and more responsible) modes of fun, such as making eco-safe toys, biking, reading books, or engaging in other green projects such as Earth Day activities. Get more ideas at www.familyeducation.com.

A Pedal-Powered Ride (No Gas, Please)

As world energy resources continue to dwindle, there’s no telling which vehicle types future generations will use for daily commutes. One thing is sure though, walking and biking will stay in vogue even after all other transportation options run out of fuel. So if you want to raise your kids in an eco-friendly manner, buy them a two-wheeled bike and teach them to cycle. As a added bonus, cycling is one of the best activities suitable for kids and adults, regardless of age and shape, which makes it perfect for the whole-family. Teach your child to bike and help them develop a healthy habit that will build strong muscles and keep them out of traffic jams, while also doing Mother Nature a major favor, all one pedal at a time.

Don’t let your green efforts stop at cajoling your kid into eating a morsel of broccoli during dinner. Earth is the only planet we have, and we should all do our share of green work if we’re to make the world a better and safer place for the generations to come. And more importantly, we need to teach the next generation to treat the environment with love and respect for the sake of both Mother Nature and mankind as a whole.

Guest Blogger: Elise Morgan is passionate about healthy life habits and works on implementing it in her and her family and friends' lives. She is a health and fitness fanatic who adores hiking, paragliding, and all sorts of extreme sports (after all she did spend hundreds of hours in the air). She loves writing about life, experiences, and adventures.
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