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  • Writer's pictureAbi Smith

Raising Environmentally Conscious Children

raising environmentally conscious children

The issue of climate change is no stranger to most of us. For years, we have read news articles and watched documentaries highlighting the environmental impact we have caused. But, now more than ever, we are being prompted to enact change. While some are still struggling to make small changes to their everyday lives, many have started saying no to plastic, switching to electric cars, and cutting down on their meat consumption. Equally as important is raising environmentally conscious children.

I’m a firm believer that it is important for everyone to make a few changes to their carbon footprint. Ultimately, today’s children are the ones who will feel the greatest impact of the world’s rising temperature. This means that it is paramount that we educate our children about the importance of protecting the planet. 

The question is, how do we go about educating and encouraging our children to live sustainably?

Be Open and Honest

Depending on the age of your child, most schools are teaching students about climate change. So, speak to your child and encourage them to share what they have learnt at school. Once you have a greater understanding of what they already know, you can fill in the gaps and be honest with your child about the changes that we are all facing on our planet. 

This doesn’t mean we have to be all doom and gloom, but it’s far greater for children to be aware of climate change so they can begin to enact their own change and get involved in caring for the environment.

Volunteer in the Community

There are plenty of volunteering opportunities available to help improve the environment. From beach clean ups, zero-waste programmes, and community gardening projects, there are many opportunities for the whole family to have fun and get involved!

Make Changes to Everyday Life

Encourage your child to get involved by making small changes to reduce the whole family’s carbon footprint. These changes could come in many shapes or forms:

  1. Recycling old packaging and waste (but always remember to clean them first!)

  2. Switching off the lights and air-conditioning after use.

  3. Eating less meat and dairy products.

  4. Saying no to plastic – encourage your child to bring reusable bags, straws, cups and containers.

  5. Only buying what is needed: from clothes to toys, books and electronics

  6. Driving less: walk or cycle where possible – this can be a fun activity for the whole family!

  7. Checking your toiletries: look for products that use natural ingredients and come in recyclable packaging.

  8. Donating unwanted clothes, books and toys: many places now offer swap schemes or vouchers for items donated.

These are just a few examples of how you can educate your child regarding climate change and living a more sustainable lifestyle. These small steps can make a big difference and having fun with it in the process can make them more likely to adopt these habits as they grow up. For example, create a craft activity out of old clothes, toys and packaging or have a competition with them to see who can walk the most in a week.

Discussing climate change and implementing small changes in daily life is a great way to instil environmentally conscious behaviour in our children. After all, the children of today are our future leaders. So nurturing environmentally aware children is fundamental to ensuring our future leaders continue taking the right steps to protect our planet. Let your child be part of the conversation and get the whole family involved. Most importantly, have fun with it!

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