There's an old Indian proverb, that says that, 'we do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.' This proverb suggests that our own actions and treatment of the planet, will have an impact on the world our children live in, and all all future generations. It's therefore an important issue to bring up environmentally aware children who'll look after the planet so that future generations can long continue to enjoy the wonders that the world holds.
Photo: Nasa, Wikipedia
As parents, we are often considered the greatest role models for our children and 'green thinking' can certainly start in the home with ourselves setting the best examples of 'how it is done'.
If you're not sure on where to start, here's ten ideas to go green with your children.
1) No littering Teach your children about where their rubbish should go, both in the house and out and about. It's an easy one to conquer when they are young, and will mean that as they get older, they're more likely to be responsible about their own rubbish.
2) Recycle Have a recycle bin in your home and teach your child about what can be recycled and what can't. You can get children involved in this from a very early age, by asking them to take certain items to the bin for you, and explaining which ones can be recycled and which ones can't. As a further idea, look out for open days at your local refuse centre which are often a free, fun filled days with a side dose of environmental education too.
Photo: Krdan, Wikipedia
3) Volunteer together Lots of volunteering activities can be undertaken as a family, and it can be lots of fun to demonstrate to your child the importance of giving back to the community. If you're wishing to stick to the 'green' theme, then seek out beach clearing and community clean up days where many families come together for greater good.
4) Plant a tree Find out where your local charitable tree planting areas are, and head out as a family to grow something sustainable for the future.
5) Switch off lights Teach your children to switch off lights after they have left a room. Not only is this kinder to your energy bill, it's teaching kids to be responsible for their own energy consumption. From this early lesson of light switches, you can build up to making sure they keep appliances switched off that aren't in use and become more energy aware as they mature.
6) Don't waste water Explain to your children about water conservation and show them concepts such as turning the water off when they are brushing their teeth (between rinses). As they get older encourage showers over baths, and look for ways that children can be involved in water saving at home.
7) Compost/worm farm A great way to show children about the different uses of typical household waste products, is by creating a compost heap or a worm farm. Get them involved in the project and show them how unwanted kitchen scraps can be used for greater good.
8) Grow vegetables If you've got a compost heap or worm farm, then a great way to use these to their best advantage is to grow your own and use your home made compost to help your produce bloom and flourish. Kids will enjoy learning how vegetables are grown, and by showing them a great use for compost, they'll be more likely to stay involved in the project.
9) Earth Hour
Throw an Earth Hour party every time this event comes round and use it as an impetus to discuss the environment with your kids. Some great resources for hosting your own family (or larger scale) event can be found here
10) Enjoy nature
Get out their and enjoy the outdoors
One of the greatest ways to get your children to care about the environment is for them to love the world around them so much so that they want to preserve it themselves. Get off the video games, switch off the TV and get out into wide open natural spaces, and let your kids enjoy the world that they are apart of.