Becoming a mom has really made me even more conscious of the example I’m setting for my children , especially when it comes to being Earth-Friendly and Green. I do what I can to teach them, but I still wonder if what I’m doing is right or if it’s enough? This being Earth Week, I asked eco-mom blogger Cher Hanusiak, from Eco-Bravo to write a guest post about how we can all teach our kids to be more earth-friendly.
Earth Week Guest Post – Cher from Eco-Bravo
Talking to toddlers and preschoolers about the “why’s” of being earth-friendly won’t go far. Leading by example will. These issues are too big, and our kids have a lifetime to uncover all of the reasons why they need to protect the earth and conserve the environment.
“Children are great imitators, so give something great to imitate”
We can use these early years to reinforce good habits and create the “normals” of their lives. For my family, it’s “normal” to recycle, compost, walk in the forest, ride bikes, use natural cleaners, bring our own bags for groceries, use cloth napkins for mealtimes and reusable lunch and drink containers.
The absolute best and lifelong gift we can give our children is a connection to nature. If you want to raise kids who will turn into teens and adults who want to protect the earth, give them a love and understanding of nature, make it part of who they are.
Here are 10 ways you can begin earth-inspired norms in your own family:
1. Go for nature walks. Learn the names of trees, flowers, birds, bugs and teach your children to look, listen and touch.
2. Plant a garden. Kids love peas picking and carrots! Growing and eating food that your kids helped plant and pick will give them valuable knowledge and understanding of where food comes from.
3. Teach your children the names (and tastes) of all fruits and vegetables.
4. Eat whole foods that kids can recognize and bake/cook with your kids. This is essential to the deeper connection of how the earth feeds us.
5. Make yearly visits to a working farm, where kids can meet hens, goats and sheep and try to pick some eggs; and visit organic farms to pick berries in the summer.
6. Take nighttime walks or go camping (even in the backyard) and look at the stars.
7. Swim in lakes, not just pools 🙂
8. Attract birds to your yard with a bird feeder or a birdbath.
9. Teach your child to turn off lights when not in a room, turn off water while brushing teeth and put paper in the recycling or apple cores in the compost, instead of just using the garbage.
10. Play outside. Simply spend time outdoors: riding bikes, going to parks, having a picnic, going to the beach, kicking a ball.
Encourage your child’s sense of wonder, curiosity and connection to nature and great things will come. What are some of the “normals” you’ve created for your family?
Cher Hanusiak is a “striving to be greener everyday” Mom to a toddler. Her blog, EcoBravo, was started with a passion for celebrating good people, good places and good products.