Raising an environmentally-friendly child is not very difficult. The rate at which our resources are dwindling should be enough motivation for us to teach the present generation the importance of protecting the environment. Not just for today, but for posterity.
One of the first steps in making your child eco-conscious is to be eco-friendly yourself. This is an important step that you should not forget. You can talk about saving the environment and all the perils we face because of the damage we are causing, but if you don’t practice what you preach, it is unlikely that you are creating the right impact.
Involving your children in eco-friendly practices helps them get acquainted with green living more quickly. Start with simple tasks such as asking them to segregate between wet and dry garbage or involving them in making some DIY things for your home.
Quick fact: Did you know that disposable diapers are the 3rd largest consumer items in landfills? They represent 30% of non-biodegradable waste.
5 tips to raise an environmentally-friendly child
You can help your child establish environmentally-friendly habits at a very young age, especially if you are a good example yourself. When you work towards creating eco-friendly habits, it is important that you explain to them what you are doing and why so that it is more impactful.
Developing eco-friendly habits is similar to developing a lifestyle that will make children more conscious and aware of their actions. In this article, we’ve listed 5 easy tips that can help you raise an environmentally-friendly child.
1. Use DIY cleaners
You can make your own cleaners at home with easily available ingredients. Involve your children when you make your own cleaners. You don’t need to invest in the chemical laden options anymore. A chemical free home has a healthier and cleaner atmosphere.
Quick tip: Make your own natural window cleaner by adding 2 tablespoons of vinegar in a litre of water. Add a drop of your favourite essential oil to it and you have a cleaning solution with a fragrance you love!
2. Go natural
Opt for products and resources that are natural and environmentally friendly. Support local organizations that believe in protecting the environment. Opt for brands that work with fair trade, rely on natural resources and use chemical-free ingredients in their products.
Quick tip: A quick look at the ingredients list will let you know if the products are natural. SLES, parabens, SLS and fragrances are some of the words that should raise a red flag!
3. Conserve water
Small ways to conserve water add up to saving gallons of water. Some examples are not leaving the tap open when you brush your teeth or having a bucket bath so that you can limit the use of water. I practise these conservation techniques through small acts like using the water in which I have washed rice and pulses to water my plants.
Quick tip: Have you heard of natural floor cleaners? These are made up of natural ingredients and the best part is that you can re-use the water to which these cleaners were added for watering your plants.
4. Compost the trash
When you decide to compost, you are choosing to reduce landfill. Composting helps to turn wet garbage into fertilizer that can be used in your garden. If you live in a gated community, you can consider building a composting pit. Segregating waste also helps to teach children the difference between biodegradable and recyclable trash.
Quick tip: Segregating your household waste is the first step to composting.
5. Grow your own food
One of the main benefits of growing your own food is that you know you are eating food that is free from pesticides and chemicals. It is also an activity that your children can be involved in. Have your own veggie garden. Planting and plucking the fruits when they are ready to be harvested is a lot of fun.
Quick tip: If you are challenged for space, don’t worry you can always grow veggies in pots. Brinjals, tomatoes, chillies, basil, mint and coriander are some of veggies that can grow in a pot.
Creating a better planet to live in does not happen overnight. It takes months and years of patience and consistent follow up for the results to show. Saving the environment is not only about the 3 Rs of reduce, reuse and recycle. It is about making your child aware of her contribution to reducing the carbon footprint on earth.
What are some of your green ideas to teach the future generation how to care for our planet?
Pratibha is an avid blogger and social media consultant. To know more about her work, visit www.pratsmusings.com.