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How to teach kids about sustainability

Sustainability 15 March 2019 | 13:55pm

We’re becoming increasingly aware of the impact we have on the planet. As parents, it’s important to make sure we’re not only making changes in our lifestyle to care for the planet, but it’s also vital that we teach our children about sustainability from an early age. But how do you discuss a topic like sustainability with a child? Here we’ll share top tips for how to teach kids about sustainability as well as ways to involve them in living a greener lifestyle and protecting our planet for the future.

 

What is sustainability for kids?

 

Finding a sustainability definition for kids is important. Simply put, sustainability is about small changes we can make to help look after the planet. Making these changes helps protect animals, plants and our natural resources so that future generations will be able to enjoy them.

 

Easy lessons in sustainability for children

 

There are three top ways for how to teach kids about sustainability.

 

1. Include them in chores

This not only helps children learn about sustainability, but it also increases their knowledge of life skills they will need in the future. Three great chores they can help you with are:

 

  • Washing clothes. Showing them how to load and unload the washing machine is one thing, but as they grow up and start to learn numbers and words, why not try getting them to turn the washing machine on 30°C? Use it as a chance to explain about sustainable fuels and saving energy.
  • Pack groceries into reusable bags. This is an easy change to make, and you can get some really pretty cotton carrier bags to replace the plastic ones! Get your children to help with the shopping, explaining how plastic bags ending up in landfills and oceans is causing harm to the planet.
  • Ask them to help with the recycling. From taking empty cereal cardboard to the recycling bin to donating old clothes to charity, there are plenty of ways they can help. You can also teach them to put banana skins, egg shells, apple cores and more in a food waste bin instead of the rubbish bin.

 

2. Make it fun

 

A key tip for anyone wondering how to teach kids about sustainability is to make it fun. Here are two easy ways you can do this:

 

  • Make it a game. Teaching children through play is not a new concept, but it can be used for so many different things. One good way you can do this is to use coloured boxes to separate your recycling and ask them to choose the right box.
  • Take a trip to the recycling centre. This may not seem fun to you, but an outing to your local recycling centre is a great way to teach children about waste management and recycling and children tend to love a good excursion.

 

3. Go green yourself

 

The best and easiest way to teach your children about sustainability is to lead by example. Why not try switching off the TV and reducing screen time in favour of a woodland walk? You can also change up your disposable products and single-use plastic in favour of reusable and recyclable options. Some easy swaps every family can make include:

 

  • using cloth nappies, reusable sanitary products, washable make-up remover wipes and more
  • investing in metal straws which can be used over and over again
  • replacing single use plastic bags with reusable, washable cotton shoppers
  • switching to products from brands who are working to reduce waste – there are many who are now using recyclable packaging or replacing it with reusable or refillable options

 

Now you have some top tips for ways for explaining sustainability for kids as well as involving them in adopting a greener lifestyle. You have everything you need to start taking steps to making the world a better place for them and future generations.

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