Raising eco-conscious children may seem like a challenge, but it’s a necessity in today’s world. When kids adopt green habits early on in life, they carry these behaviours and beliefs into their adulthood to live sustainable, eco-friendly lives.
Here are a few ways you can do your part to raise eco-conscious children:
1. Explore the outdoors
The more time kids spend in the outdoors, the deeper the appreciation they will have for nature. So, to help them develop a love for the outdoors, take them outside as much as possible. Go bike riding, start a friendly game of soccer with other kids and parents in the neighbourhood, or go on a nature hike to watch birds in their natural habitats. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you’re doing it outdoors!
2. Reuse materials
Kids will only use disposable utensils, napkins and plates if you keep them in the house, so don’t get in the habit of buying these. Although it may be easier to throw away items after one use, it’s much more environmentally friendly to reuse materials whenever possible.
3. Go to a farmer’s market
Take your kids to one of the many farmer’s markets throughout Singapore and the rest of Southeast Asia. Use these trips as an opportunity to explain to kids that not all food needs to come from a grocery store. Talk to kids about the importance of buying locally grown food, too. When you buy locally grown food, you help prevent air pollution that is produced when food is transported from far away.
After taking your kids to a farmer’s market, talk to them about whether they would be interested in growing their own fruits and vegetables at the house. This is another fun activity you can do together while inching one step closer to living an eco-conscious lifestyle.
4. Read to them
There are dozens of children’s books dedicated to teaching kids about the importance of protecting the environment, so choose one with characters your kid can relate to, such as A Mighty Tree. This book features two young Asian boys who explore the importance of environmental preservation and then meet whimsical animals and other fun characters along the way.
When you turn the topic of going green into a fun story, kids will be more likely to follow along and take your advice. Hopefully they become eco-conscious children!
5. Do science experiments
Kids may have trouble understanding tough concepts such as climate change and energy conservation. To make it easier for them to understand, show them through a visual science experiment.
For example, to teach kids about greenhouse gases, take an aquarium tank and turn it upside down in your backyard on a sunny afternoon. Put one thermometer on the outside of the tank and one on the inside, and watch as the temperatures rise at different rates. Explain to your kids that the aquarium is like the Earth—trapping gases (or in this case, heat) in its atmosphere that cause the temperature to rise faster than it should. The simpler you can make these tough concepts appear with science experiments, the more involved and interested your children will be.
With these tips, making kids more eco-friendly is no longer a challenge, but a fun way for you to spend more time together as a family.