Let’s face it; not as many adults and children care about the earth like they should. Drive down almost any road and you’ll see at least some trash that has been carelessly thrown out and discarded. If we don’t teach our kids to care about the earth, our home, then the future is doomed for future generations because look at the damage that we’ve already done to our planet… it can’t take much more.
I wanted my own children to care about the earth and for them to have a genuine interest in how their actions can affect it if we don’t take care of it. I have an 11-year-old, 9-year-old and a 5-year-old and with kids in such different age ranges, I’ve had to do different things to get their attention. This article will detail a few things that I’ve done with my children that may work with yours.
#1: Let Them Observe Nature
Take your children to a beautiful place that doesn’t generally have a lot of garbage. For example, we have a park that is located on the outskirts of town. While it does have some garbage here or there, it is kept pretty clean and is a wonderful place to wander among the trees, walk by the river, etc. You can even take a day trip to drive to a local forest. Just show them how beautiful nature can be, how nice it is to go somewhere that is clean for everyone to enjoy. This helps start the awareness process and sets up the next step below.
#2: Take Your Kids on a Drive around Town and Point Out Garbage
As you drive home from your nature excursion, point out all the garbage that is littering the streets and other areas around your town. They’ll realize that there is vast difference between the beauty they just saw and the dimness they are seeing from the trash littering the streets. Explain to your children how important it is to throw away your trash in the proper receptacles and not on the ground.
#3: Walk or Ride a Bike to a Location
Driving cars causes pollution which of course causes damage to the earth. We are lucky to live close to my children’s school so several times during the month we’ll walk to school instead of driving our van. Not only does it not add more pollution but we all get exercise so it is a win/win thing to do. Now if you don’t live close to a school, then simply take a walk around your neighborhood instead of driving to another location to something else or walk to go visit a friend.
#4: Plant a Tree
For one earth day, my family and I planted an orange tree. It was very hands on with my children assisting with everything from digging the hole for the tree; placing the tree into the hole and filling it back up with dirt. Trees produce oxygen for the earth and by planting a fruit tree, we’ll someday have oranges that we can eat which means we won’t have to buy them, everything will be all natural.
#5: Lead by Example
One of the best ways to teach your children to care about the earth is to lead by example. If you throw something about the window, even if it is just once in a while, your children will see you do that and they’ll adopt the same mentality that you do because you are their parent. Whatever harmful things that you do, they’ll do. Lead by example, be their mentor and they may follow in your footsteps to protecting Mother Earth.