Teaching Kids at Home: Conservation and Going Green
Conservation and living in a way that involves responsible actions that do not harm the environment is something that everyone can pursue. Children may not be in a position to make some lifestyle decisions, such as which products they buy and modes of transportation they use, but learning about conservation during youth can equip kids to adopt green lifestyles that will carry over into adulthood. Children who learn how to go green while they are young may be more likely to continue making positive choices to benefit the planet throughout their lives. Learning about conservation also positions children to teach others this important information.
Conservation involves using resources wisely and reducing waste whenever possible. With these principles in mind, you can teach children about environmental conservation in many different ways. One of the best methods of education is to lead by example. When children see parents and other influential adults conserving resources in their daily activities, they will likely emulate these actions. For example, when you find ways to conserve water, such as setting up a rain barrel in your yard to collect rainwater for plants, you not only teach an important conservation method, but you are setting a positive example for reducing water usage. As children learn conservation habits, they may not even think about continuing them throughout their lives.
Have meaningful conversations about environmental stewardship and why conservation is important. When you teach children about natural resources and the importance of conserving them, kids can understand how and why they should help protect Earth. Look for teachable moments throughout the day when you can not only talk about conservation but also show children ways they can use fewer resources and lessen their impact on the environment. Teachable moments could arise at any time, such as while shopping, while doing housework, and even when using water at home in the kitchen and bathroom.
Get children involved in conservation efforts and other green activities. For example, you could organize a work crew to clean up a local park or roadway. You could plant native plants in a park or your child's school grounds to beautify an area with plants that will thrive in your local area. When you are shopping, talk about the packaging of products and help kids understand the negative impact that excess plastic packaging can have, especially if these materials are not recycled correctly. Teach children that it's possible to have an impact on packaging by choosing to purchase products that are packaged in an environmentally responsible fashion and avoiding products that are not packaged responsibly. You can also show kids the importance of buying local whenever possible to support local commerce and farmers. Although it can feel like individual actions are ineffective or inadequate, each person's activities have a ripple effect that goes on to impact the entire world. Teaching children that their actions matter is one of the first steps toward positive environmental stewardship.
Conservation for Kids