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Teaching Kids About Sustainable Living

Teaching your kids about eco-friendly living is an important part of ensuring that our Earth outlives us, them, and generations to come. It may seem complicated, but it really doesn’t have to be. There are a number of ways to teach your children how to protect and care for our Earth and the environment around us.

Be a role model.

The easiest way to teach your children about sustainability—and anything for that matter—is to be a positive role model. Children are like sponges, and they notice the little things. If you want to teach your kids about protecting the environment, it’s important that you set a good example.

Look for ways that you can reduce waste or electricity in your home. For instance, turn off lights when you leave a room, or walk or ride bikes instead of driving. These small actions will send a powerful message to your children.

Use recycled or reusable products.

Children will also take notice of the types of products that you use around your home. Reusable water bottles, for instance, are an easy way to reduce waste and teach kids how small decisions can make a big impact. If you can’t find a reusable product to fit your needs, try to buy products made of recycled materials that can be recycled again after you’re finished.

Create teachable moments.

While implementing green practices may seem easy, it’s also important that you teach your child why you’re making these changes. This can be as simple as explaining to your children why they must bring their water bottles home with them from school, and why you do not use water bottles that you throw away.

Make it fun.

Living a sustainable life and reducing your carbon footprint can be enjoyable for the whole family. Try using recycled materials to do a family art project, or going to the park instead of watching a movie. Planting a vegetable garden as a family can also be a fun and engaging project. When the vegetables are ripe you can prepare a meal together as a family. You may be surprised by how engaged your children are in the process, and how much they can learn from a fun, family activity.

Sindy Ortiz is the director of Little Owl Learning Academy (LOLA), a high-tech, eco-friendly childcare facility located in Trinity, Fla. In conjunction with the standard curriculum, LOLA focuses on teaching students about nutritional awareness and sustainability, with children learning through hands-on experiences, such as tending to the facility’s organic garden.

Caring ...for people and the planet

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