Earthwise - Green Living / Parenting

Teaching Kids to Respect Our World and the Environment

In today’s world, parents are beginning to see the importance of teaching their children to respect our world and the environment. After all, children are the ones who will inherit the planet and will be responsible for it in the next generation. It makes sense to teach them how to respect it, especially in this day and age of pollution and other environmental concerns.

How can you teach your kids this important concept? Here are some ideas.

Grow a Garden

Learning a bit about where food comes from is an important piece of education that too many children miss. Gardening teaches children about the cycles and seasons of nature, the work that goes into food production, and how the environment affects your gardening efforts. How weather affects your garden may instill a healthy respect for Mother Nature.

Responsible Camping

Taking your kids camping is a wonderful way to get them out into the natural world. As you do, teach them about the responsibilities involved in camping, such as the proper technique for extinguishing a campfire, and how to carry trash back with you out of the wilderness area. If you see trash lying about in the area, point it out to your kids and note how it spoils the landscape.

Bird Watching

If all you do is put up a bird feeder and identify the avian visitors, it’s a step in the right direction. Your children may really get into bird identification and want to read more about various species. Look online and see if you can identify bird calls, and get a good field guide to help your kids find out which birds are visiting. They may want to read about various birds’ migration patterns and habitats, too.

Natural Foods

Consider implementing a natural diet in your family. This is just another way to foster an appreciation for nature and her gifts, and it may inspire your kids to preserve those small farms and sustainable agriculture that brings them such foods.

Explore Environmental Careers

See if you can arrange a tour of a local factory or plant, and ask them to show you all the environmental protection measures they have in place (such as filters on smoke stacks, or proper disposal techniques for chemical waste). This may inspire your child to go into such a career, or may simply help them appreciate what goes into caring for the environment.

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