September is here, which means kiddos are back at school and the warm winds of Summer will soon be crisp and Autumnal. With the kids back in school, your plate is already full of homework, your own work, and everything that comes along with raising a family. Though your plate might be full, we want to encourage you to add one small lesson to it that can help you raise more eco-conscious children for the betterment of all.
In this article, we want to share 5 awesome ways you can get your kids involved in environmental conservation. Keeping our world healthy and reducing global waste and pollution is a task we all should be responsible for, and getting your kids interested in conservation early can help them to become greener, cleaner adults. From getting your kids involved in home-waste management to teaching them about natural eco-systems, here are 5 ways you can help your kids to be more environmentally conscious.
1. Teach Your Children To Recycle
Though it may not be the most entertaining of practices, teaching your kids how to recycle properly will serve them throughout their lives. Get your kids involved in the process of recycling by teaching them what kinds of materials are recyclable, explaining why recycling is better for the environment, and encouraging them to recycle outside the home as well.
Waste and global pollution are serious problems affecting society today and will be more serious for our children and grandchildren’s generations. To get your child interested in learning about reducing waste, consider starting out in a local park. Pick up trash and recyclables, and expose your child to the realities of litter. By walking around your local park and picking up trash, you can teach your kids about the perils of littering while showing them what kinds of materials can be recycled. This can also help your kids to feel more connected to their community, and instill in them a sense of communal responsibility.
Once your child has begun to learn about recycling, start to quiz them on what kinds of materials can be recycled. Go through the rooms of your house, apartment, or condo, and have your kiddo pick out items that can be recycled. Getting your child involved in home waste management and teaching them to recycle will not only make your home greener but help your child develop life skills that will serve them well into the future.
2. Teach Your Kids to Preserve Water
If you are reading this article, chances are good you live in a country with access to clean and safe water. Children all over the world live without access to clean fresh water, and though the United States has some of the largest reservoirs of drinkable water, some US citizens still do not have access to it. The water crisis has become so serious, that over 80% of reported illnesses in developing countries are linked to poor sanitation and water conditions.
Only 2% of Earth’s water is drinkable, with 1% of that drinkable water stuck frozen in glaciers, ice caps, etc. With only 1% of Earth’s water available for drinking, the only option available is to conserve wherever possible. Though the United States has constant access to drinkable water, teaching your children to save water wherever possible can help them to contribute to the global good, and be more conscious of their impact on the world.
A super simple way to start teaching your children how to save water is during toothbrushing time. Leaving the water running for the duration of a typical toothbrushing wastes around 5 gallons of water. Simply teaching your children to turn off the faucet while brushing their teeth can save between 40 to 80 gallons of water every week, and will help to make your children more conscious of the water they use on a daily basis.
3. Plant a Garden with Your Children
Besides water waste, food waste is one of the biggest problems facing the world today. In the U.S. alone, it is estimated that 30-40% of all food is wasted. That means 30-40% of all food that is produced is thrown away, never to be used by anyone. Though plenty of this food waste is brought about by grocery stores, restaurants, and producers throwing away perfectly good products, plenty can be done at home to reduce overall food waste and live more consciously.
One of the best ways to begin to educate your children on food waste is by teaching them where their food comes from. Though you likely won’t be moving to a farm to raise your own livestock, planting a simple garden with your children can help them to become more conscious of the origins of their food. Even a simple herb garden can teach your children to value their food by showing them the time, effort, and space that goes into growing the food they eat.
Try planting veggies like carrots, tomatoes, or beans. Planting, tending to, and harvesting their own food will give your children a sense of pride, and help them to learn the value of food. By sharing the process with your children, and teaching them to use what they have grown themselves, you can instill in them a sense of responsibility to care for and respect the food they eat for the rest of their lives.
4. Make Homemade Cleaning Products
Keeping your home clean may not be the most fun part of your day, but by including your kiddos in the process, you can make it more fun and create a teachable moment. Many cleaning products contain harsh or potentially harmful chemicals, and often come packaged in non-reusable plastic packaging. Rather than spending your money on harsh cleaning products that may do more harm than good, involve your kiddos in the making of eco-friendly homemade cleaning products.
Kids love mixing potions and concoctions, so what better way to this desire than by including them in mixing DIY household cleaners? Gather reusable spray bottles, jars, and other reusable containers, and make a day out of mixing amazing eco-friendly homemade cleaning product recipes. Here are few excellent recipes to get you started:
Eco-Friendly All-Purpose Cleaner
- 1 c. white vinegar
- 4 tbsp. baking soda
- 20 drops of essential oil (lavender, tea tree, orange, lemon…)
Eco-Friendly Glass and Mirror Cleaner
- ¼ c. white vinegar
- ¼ c. rubbing alcohol
- 1 tbsp. cornstarch
- 2 c. water
- 10 drops of essential oil (lavender, tea tree, orange, lemon…)
Eco-Friendly Wood Polish
- ¾ c. olive oil
- ¼ c. white vinegar
- 30 drops of essential oil (lavender, tea tree, orange, lemon…)
By teaching your children about home cleaning products and including them in the making of your own eco-friendly cleaning products, you will give your children a deeper understanding of the chemicals they are exposed to every day and can help them develop skills for making eco-friendly choices later in life.
5. Create DIY Projects Using Recycled Materials and Items
DIY projects are a great way to keep little ones busy, and a great way to teach your kiddos about how to reuse and recycle materials. Gather materials from around your home, jars, used tools and appliances, boxes, paper, or anything else you might be getting ready to toss in the trash or recycling.
Catalogs and magazines make great inspiration for collages or can be cut into fun shapes to create beautiful papercrafts. Turn toilet paper and paper towel rolls into shakable musical instruments, superhero bracelets, or awesome a spyglass for a fort. Use old jars for sand art, to store pens, or to use for mixing colors for your kiddo’s next painting project.
Turn an old soda bottle into an amazing hanging flower pot. Use old tires to create comfy cushions for floor seating. Create wind chimes out of jar lids. Melt old crayons into new ones, and create funky shapes for creative coloring. Got lots of leftover paper? Sounds like it’s time for paper mâché!
The practice of turning ‘trash’ into ‘treasure’ is an important one for teaching children to value the things they have and the material they use. Rather than teaching children that things are disposable, instill within them a sense of duty to use everything to its fullest. Creating DIY crafts out of recycled household items is also a great way to help your children to be more creative in the way they play, use their things, and see the world. By creating something new out of something old, you teach your children to be more self-sufficient and more conscious of their consumption.
Looking for a super simple DIY craft to do with your kiddos that will help them learn about being environmentally conscious? Wowe Lifestyle has an incredible line of Eco-Friendly Bamboo Toothbrushes designed to be far more eco-friendly than traditional plastic varieties. Plastic toothbrushes are thrown away an alarming rate, with the majority finding their way to landfills where they sit for decades polluting the planet.
Besides being a more eco-friendly option, the bamboo toothbrushes from Wowe Lifestyle are also perfect for DIY crafts! When you plant your garden, use old Wowe Bamboo Toothbrush handles to mark your plants! Traditional plant markers are made from plastic, and can easily get lost in your garden. Instead, remove the bristles from your bamboo toothbrush, and use the eco-friendly and biodegradable handle to mark your plants.Do you want to learn more about becoming more environmentally conscious? Visit Wowe Lifestyle to discover more tips and articles for living green, and discover amazing eco-friendly lifestyle products that are good for you and the planet.