Living sustainably has taken on greater importance over the last few decades. What started out as a small movement among nature lovers is now being touted by everyday people as a way to combat climate change and the ravages of a polluted Earth.
Unfortunately, it is going to be up to the coming generations to clean up the mess that happened before them. Which means they have to start learning now what it means to recycle, why they should and how to live in a more sustainable way.
There are actually a lot of opportunities to do so whether in the classroom with cleaning up after themselves with classroom bins to actually cleaning up when out on walks in nature and taking along some trash bags. The idea to clean up after yourself is important as well as leaving a place cleaner than how you found it.
In this article, we will go over several ideas on how you can make this happen on a daily basis to really drive the point home with your children.
Spend time in nature
Having natural excursions that bring kids out of the house and school and into the open air with trees and animals does a lot to show them how important it is to recycle. Often they will see for themselves how out of place trash looks when they are walking in the forest, for example.
They may not even need you to point out how trash is overflowing and we need to do a better job at keeping the world clean. They get the message everytime they clean up their toys so it will be obvious to them that it involves nature, too.
Bring along a trash bag when you go to the beach or to the mountain trails and pick up the trash that is left behind by those less considerate of natural spaces. This gives them a concrete example of how not recycling makes it so there is too much trash everywhere.
Kids love to see natural occurrences in real time. When you start composting they can see the process in which soil is created. When they are encouraged to toss their organic matter into a separate bin and then add it to a compost pile, they get to witness this themselves.
After, they can then see how the compost works to create healthy plants and vegetables. This is the perfect experiment to highlight how dependent we are on clean soil and how the cycle depends on us. They will be more likely to continue the practice when they are older and will have an appreciation for home grown food.
Every child has toys they no longer play with. Encourage them to give it away to somebody so that another kid can play with it. Then, when they want something new, find some others upcycling something they would like to have.
This will discourage them from being mindless consumers and seek out products that would otherwise end up in a landfill. It also puts less packaging into the ecosystem.