How to teach your kids eco habits
Whether you’ve adopted sustainable habits as an adult, or whether you were taught them growing up, it’s not always easy to pass these practices on to your own children. At ecostore, we’ve recently launched a new range of products for kids to make their bath time safer and fun. And that’s got us thinking about some other things kids can do for themselves, their families and the planet.
We’ve compiled some advice we think can help make kids more focused on helping the environment. If you have kids or young relatives, try adding some of these things to your daily routine.
1. Teach the three Rs
Reduce, re-use, re-cycle is a well known phrase that will hopefully stick in kids’ minds as they go about their everyday activities. Let’s start with reducing – they can try to cut down on things like the amount of paper they use, the things they buy new, the amount of water they use for showering and brushing their teeth, and the time they have lights on. To re-use, they might wear more second hand clothing, own a re-usable drinking cup, or use partially finished school exercise books the following year. And recycling is a really good habit at home. They can re-use food containers, make sure household rubbish and recycling are separated, and upcycle various items to find new uses for them.
2. Make it fun and rewarding
If you want kids to stick to healthy habits, you’ll need to make sure they’re part of your routine as well. When you’re doing things like turning off appliances, sorting recycling or planting seedlings, get kids involved and make it a positive experience. You can also try rewarding their consistent eco habits with a trip to their favourite place or by making them their favourite healthy snack. You might also want to encourage your kids’ school to adopt some of the sustainability practices you’ve taken up at home too.
3. Get kids involved in the gardening
Gardening can teach children a lot – from the importance of eating healthy produce to the benefits of growing plants organically. It also helps pass on the value of food beyond nutrition and encouragement to make the most of everything that’s grown. If your family garden produces more than you need, why not take your kids with you when you share it among your neighbours, friends and family?
4. Go out and about
It’s no secret that kids will have a bit more motivation to protect the world around them if they have an appreciation for the natural environment. New Zealand has some fantastic parks, beaches and bush tracks, so consider discovering as many as you can near your home or when you’re travelling. Being out in these places is a chance to explain some of the big issues, like ocean plastic when you’re at the beach, pollution when you’re by a river, and the need to preserve habitats, species and ecosystems when you’re in the bush.
5. Don’t disregard the little things
It helps to remind children that little things matter – not everything has to be a big task. For example, picking up any of their own rubbish, and perhaps some of other people’s, will help keep their local area tidy and unpolluted. And donating even pocket money sized amounts can help environmental causes on their way.