With the global population growing every year, it’s becoming more important than ever to raise children to care for the environment. Here, James Partridge from Greenshop, (www.greenshop.co.uk) offers some tips on encouraging your children to be eco-friendly.
Data from Population Matters has shown that the global population is going up by 80 million every year, meaning it could reach 9.7 billion by 2050, meaning we might put more of a strain on the earth’s resources. This has led to a conversation around how to bring up the next generation so that they care for and prioritise the planet. To help you understand how to encourage your children to be eco-friendly and enjoy caring for the environment, we’ve brought together some tips to get you started.
By spending time outside with your children, getting them started in gardening, and showing them how much fun it can be to learn about the planet, you can ensure that your little ones will grow up knowing about the importance of preserving the environment.
Take your family outside
The easiest way to get your children enthusiastic about the environment is to get them outside and into nature. Not only does this encourage them to care about the planet, but it also brings a whole host of mental and physical health benefits, as noted by the charity Mind (www.mind.org.uk) So, take the whole family for a walk, play in the park, or sign your little ones up to an outside activities group.
While you’re outside, you can also talk to your children about nature, and it’s a great time to get them learning about insects, plants, trees, and birds. This will introduce your children to the environment and get them into the habit of exploring the landscape around them.
Take your children out to see animals
Being able to be around animals is extremely good for children and can encourage them to take an interest in the natural world, teaching them to protect it for wildlife as well as ourselves. Some fun activities to take part in are visiting wildlife sanctuaries and going on bird watching trips. There are also petting farms that will let your children meet and learn about animals, and wildlife trails where they can look for beetles, snails, and squirrels.
When your children are old enough to help with an animal’s care, it can be excellent to get a pet. This can show your children how to be responsible for their four-legged companion and can be a fun way for them to get in touch with nature.
Do some gardening
Another great way to introduce your children to environmental awareness and enjoyment of nature is to start doing some gardening with them. They will enjoy planting seeds and watching them grow, learning about all the different tasks that need to be done in the garden throughout the seasons, and watering the flowers.
Spring is a good time to begin choosing seeds and plants to try out, and easy ways to start are with herbs such as parsley and basil, or fruit plants such as strawberries. Flowers are also an option, but edible choices such as nasturtiums are good options as children can enjoy tasting them when they have grown.
Teach your children to recycle
Recycling is another activity that’s accessible to children and can get them excited about the environment. Showing them which items can be recycled, and how to split everything up into categories (such as paper, glass, and plastic) is a fun way to start them on their eco-friendly journey.
You can also tell them about all the different things that can be made from the recycled materials, and for older children, it might be a good idea to make them responsible for one of the recycling sections, paper recycling for example.
Show children how to mend their things
Mending things is an important skill, and a key way to get our belongings to last longer rather than throwing them away. This creates less waste, and can be a fun DIY activity to involve your children in. You can also find patterns and new techniques to use when mending clothes and other belongings, in order to make them look unique and have more fun with the mending process.
These are all great activities for a rainy day and can keep children occupied for a while as well as teaching important skills. Try looking on YouTube for mending and craft projects – as well as repairing, you can try turning old clothes, cardboard, and paper scraps into new craft projects.
There are lots of ways to encourage your children to be more eco-friendly, so that they will have a lifelong love of nature. Getting them outside, involving them in gardening, and showing them how to care for their belongings and do simple actions like recycling, can all contribute to them growing up to be eco-conscious adults in the future. It will also open up some fun, engaging pastimes for you and your little ones to enjoy.
Greenshop is an ideal starting point to source organic, fair trade, free from and ethically sensitive products and we are passionate about conservation and reducing the use of plastic, bringing many solution products to our customers. www.greenshop.co.uk