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5 Ways to
Get You Kids Excited about Sustainability

Educating your children about enviromental sustainability

Environmental sustainability should be all about fun when it comes to getting kids excited about the topic, yet often, it isn’t. The importance of social media in teen’s lives and televised media tends to focus on the negative aspects of sustainability – global warming, animals in danger of extinction, the effects of our actions on our fragile Planet.

Without a doubt, it is vital for children to have their facts straight. They should know how their actions can affect everything from the myriad of animals that live in various ecosystems, to the effect of apparent rising temperatures on the World. Whether you agree with the theory behind global climatic changes or not, there's no doubt about the importance of enviromental sustainability to life on Earth.

Teach your children about nature
Children are naturally curious, so it should be easy to get them excited about caring for the environment and understanding nature. (Image: Freeimages.com)

How to make a change

However, the best way to motivate them to make a change, is by involving them in decisions and reminding them why the environment is worth fighting for in the first place. As writer, Timothy Devinney notes, “What is clear is that the global environmental movement is facing an uphill battle to keep key sustainability issues on the agenda against issues that seem more relevant to individual members of society… Make environmental issues as relevant and personal as access to medicine or freedom from discrimination. Individuals will prioritise sustainability issues if the issues are critical to everyday life.”

These are just a handful of ways to bring the fun back into being an eco warrior:

Plan activities outside

Children spend hours on end indoors, glued to their technological devices or to the TV set. Their vital relationship to Nature has been severed in many ways, and they can be unaware of simple processes, such as how fruits and vegetables grow, or how products such as milk or honey, are obtained. Rebuild their relationship with outdoor space by building your leisure activities around it. Play sports outdoors, go on Nature walks to beautiful sites such as waterfalls, have a picnic by a lake or in the midst of verdant surrounds.

Encourage children to learn more about local ecosystems and to contribute to their continued existence by planting local plants and trees alongside them, or helping them build a garden.

If you live in an urban area or don’t have a garden, why not build a vertical garden? There are tips and tricks online and you don’t need to break your budget to build a beautiful, oxygen-giving vertical garden within your own home!

Take younger kids on a scavenger hunt outdoors, bringing a chart with pictures of animals and plants they may encounter – they can then tick anything they see on their chart – include items such as spiders, butterflies, worms, bees, squirrels, grass, clouds, flowers and any flora and fauna in your local area.

Excite them with reading on Nature

Some fantastic books that may spark an interest in Nature and gardening in younger readers include My Garden by Kevin Henkes, From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons, and The Curious Garden by Peter Brown.

Let your kids play with pets outdoors
There are numerous benefits in allowing your children to play with pets and
learning to care about them - for parents, too! (Image by Freeimages.com)

Involve kids in energy savings

One great way to motivate children is to promise that any amount of money saved on energy, can go towards a fun day out – let them choose the time and place to spend whatever you save. Encourage older children to compare energy prices – there are many online resources that will help you compare gas vs electricity costs, for instance. Making a switch from one type of energy to another might result in considerable savings.

Older kids can also calculate how much energy appliances consume, so you can formulate a plan to reduce energy expenditure. Of course, simple steps such as using a programmable thermostat will significantly lower your heating costs. Getting kids excited about saving energy will not only help the environment; it will also teach them the importance of saving, a skill that will benefit them throughout their life.

Have pets at home

Children who grow up alongside pets benefits not only benefit from the stress-relieving effects of their four-pawed friends; they also develop a sense of comfort around, and love for, animals. As Timothy Devinney, mentioned above, notes, it’s got to be personal to matter, and children are more likely to care about animals they see around them, than exotic animals they read about which are going extinct. Start with nearby goals and eventually, kids will look farther afield.

Create Upcycled Art

Instead of throwing away unwanted items and décor pieces in your home, create upcycled artwork. Pinterest is a magnificent source of ideas on art mad with items such as bottlecaps, old brushes and even egg cartons.

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