Teaching Your Children About the Importance of Being Green

Written by on January 7, 2020 in Conscious Living, Conscious Parenting with 0 Comments

By Lilly Miller

Living a green life and taking good care of this wonderful blue planet we call home is something we all should be doing, regardless of our location or circumstances. As we leave one year behind us, we should take the beginning of a new one as an opportunity to reflect on our thoughts and actions, but also make some better decisions about the way we treat the environment and what we teach the new generation. After all, many of our habits and beliefs are passed down to us from our parents, which is why we have to make sure that we do the same for our children. Here are some smart ways to make their life greener and healthier.

Show them how to save energy

If you start with the basics and work from there, your home can become an eco-friendlier one in no time. This would mean that your kids would consider this normal and behave accordingly. For instance, using LEDs instead of incandescent light bulbs can save energy, as can turning off the lights whenever you leave a room. Another good way to save energy is to install good windows and not go wild with the temperature inside your home. If you keep your air conditioning at a bit higher temperature during the summer, and at a pleasant, but not too-hot-to-breathe level during the winter, you can help the planet, while saving some money on your utility bills. Similarly, don’t keep the water running while brushing your teeth, but rather use only the amount you actually need to rinse your mouth. The same applies to take showers. Having a concert in the shower while spending insane amounts of water is unreasonable, and your kids will know it if you teach them that from an early age. 

Keep them informed

Talking to your children is an essential part of their upbringing. Your kids will gladly discuss anything with you and even share their secrets with you if you don’t talk down to them and if you treat them with respect. This is something you can use to have conversations about the environment and what each person can do to contribute to its preservation. Nowadays, children hear about it at school, but what they hear or see at home is what really counts. They should know the reasons so many plant and animal species are going extinct, why polar caps are melting and why our waters are contaminated. However, don’t forget to tell them about some examples of good practice, such as how the government is dealing with China pollution crisis or what exactly makes Iceland, Switzerland and Costa Rica some of the greenest countries in the world. They should be aware of how their own actions can affect nature both in a positive and negative manner. Finally, let your little ones know that everything good they do for this world matters, no matter how small or insignificant it might seem to them.

Reconsider how you get around

Most families own cars, which is fine, but the car you choose can certainly make a difference, which is why electric cars or hybrids are definitely what you should go for. However, no matter how eco-friendly your car is, there are always healthier ways for you and your children to get around. So, instead of driving them to school every day, perhaps you can teach them to ride their bikes or walk. In case there is too much distance between your home and their school for that, public transportation is another option. Of course, teaching by example is the best way to get any message across to your kids, so make sure you also do your best to walk, cycle or take the subway on your way to work. Not only is this beneficial to your entire family’s well-being, but it can also keep the air cleaner and help your budget in the long run.  

Change the way you shop

If you allow yourself to just go to the closest supermarket and get whatever’s on discount this week, you probably won’t be doing any favors to your family or the environment, and especially your children. The first thing you should do is start frequenting farmers’ markets and locally-owned shops and take your children with you as often as you can. While there, buy organic fruit, vegetables and any other type of food your family normally eats. Similarly, invest in hand-made cosmetics and cleaning products, made with natural ingredients. Furthermore, by buying clothes from local designers, especially those who do their own sewing, you can support small businesses and encourage their owners to create more eco-friendly products. While shopping, try refraining yourself from wasting money on various gadgets, jewelry and unpractical pieces of clothes you want to get because they look cool at the moment. Instead, only buy the products you actually need and use and teach your children to do the same. Show them that vanity and the desire to impress other people isn’t something that should guide them through life. Last, but not least, no matter what you buy, bring your own reusable shopping bags along, so that you don’t return home with a dozen plastic bags that will simply end up in our oceans.

When it comes to being eco-friendly, become your children’s mentor and do your best to instill the right values and good habits in them. That way you’ll know that this world stands a chance and that you did what you could to keep it cleaner and greener.

About the author: Lilly Miller is a freelance writer, who focuses on home improvement and sustainable living. She loves to experiment on daring new home decor trends and write about it as a regular contributor to Smooth Decorator. Settled in Sydney for the time being, Lilly shares home with two loving dogs and a gecko named Rodney. You can find her hanging out on  Twitter.

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