How to Teach Your Younger Generations about Green Living
In this age of consumerism and excess, our planet is faced with rapidly dwindling resources, climate change, and species extinction. In order to counteract and prevent further damage, everyone has a responsibility to live in a way that is sustainable. Green living is particularly important for younger generations to learn about and incorporate into their daily lives, so that as adults, they will live in a sustainable way and pass that method of living onto their own children.
Sometimes children can have short attention spans, and it can be difficult to get them to pay attention to serious topics, so here are several ways to teach them about green living that will keep them interested.
Teach Them to Love Nature
Most children love animals. The names of different creatures are some of the first words toddlers learn when learning how to speak. Kids are naturally curious about different types of animals, and love learning how they live and act. Encourage that curiosity by taking them to zoos, aviaries, and aquariums. Seeing animals up close while you explain about the loss of habitats for these creatures will have a longer lasting impact on your children. Explain how they can help protect wildlife by living green, and then reiterate these ideas when you get home. Not only will this be an educational experience for your kids, but it will also be an enjoyable one.
Another way to teach your children how to love and respect nature is to take them outside. Take them hiking, camping, or out for a nature walk. Use the opportunity to make it educational by explaining different ecosystems and pointing out the different types of rocks, trees, and animals that you see together. If younger generations enjoy being in nature, they’ll want to do what they can to preserve it. Explain how litter, deforestation, and pollution affects wildlife, and why it is important to protect forests and other wildlife habitats so that they are still around for everyone to enjoy in the future.
Host an Event
Ask your children’s school to host an event about sustainability. If they are unable to host a school-wide event, talk to your child’s teacher to see if you can come in to speak to the students for a hour, as some children may not be receiving the same lessons at home. Ask a local zoo or animal refuge to visit the school and speak about how green living affects animals, or organize a class trip. If kids get to handle or pet some of the animals, they’ll have a tangible experience that will make an impression and drive home what is at stake if humans don’t look out for the environment.
Reach Out to Teens
These days, most elementary school children learn something in the classroom about littering and energy conservation, but these lessons often are forgotten when kids reach high school. High school students are on the verge of adulthood, and will be out on their own in just a few short years. Find ways to engage them and remind them of the importance of green living. If they enjoyed the zoo as a kid, chances are that they still will. If not, find a way to engage their interest. Many teenagers are beginning to take an interest in world issues, such as sustainability, so you may not have to work too hard to reach out to your teen at all. Instead, nurture their concern by going along with their ideas for green living. If they want to start a compost pile or recycling bin for your house, help them do so. Praise them for their efforts, so that they’ll continue them into college and beyond.
Using these tips, you can do your part to help teach younger generations about the importance of green living.