Sustainability can be a tough concept to understand, especially as a kid. They can see the immediate world around them, but it’s often hard for them to grasp the less tangible importance of recycling and zero waste living. This is exactly why it’s so important to take the time to teach them about sustainability. In this guide, you’ll learn some useful tips to help you communicate the importance of sustainability to your kids.
Why Do Kids Need to Know About Sustainability?
The truth is that the Earth is on a bad trajectory. If human-induced climate change keeps up at its current rate, there won’t be a livable planet for our great-grandkids.
By teaching kids about sustainability, you’re helping them preserve the planet. After all, the behaviors that people learn when they’re kids often follow them into adolescence and through adulthood. If your young ones are taught about recycling, reducing waste, and living an Earth-friendly life, they’ll grow into eco-conscious adults.
You can create generational changes by teaching your kids early. They’ll later teach their kids and their grandkids, and the message will spread.
The bottom line is that our actions directly impact the environment around us, and that’s exactly why your kids need to learn how to minimize their carbon footprint!
Tips for Communicating Sustainability to a Kid
When explaining the importance of sustainability to a kid, it’s important to keep their attention. Delivering an hour-long college-level lecture about the impact of sustainability is definitely not going to work. You need to be a little more simple with the delivery and make it fun. Try using the following tips to teach your kids about the importance of living a green lifestyle.
Hand-me-downs are one of the best examples of sustainability that your kids can understand. Let them wear clothes from older cousins or siblings, teach them about any fun stories behind the clothes, and explain the harmful effects of fast fashion and landfills.
When your child outgrows clothes, show them that you can gift them to younger neighbors or take them to a second-hand store. This zero-waste way of keeping clothes in use is easy to understand and provides a tangible example of sustainability.
Let Your Kids Explain it to You
One of the best teaching practices is to have your kids explain an idea back to you. Ask them what it means to recycle and why it’s so important.
Use their answer as a learning opportunity. Praise them for correctly grasping concepts and gently correct any misconceptions to help steer them in the right direction. This isn’t a quiz, but it’s a good way to improve their understanding of sustainability.
Make it Fun
In the end, kids just want to enjoy themselves and have fun. You’ll find a lot of success if you make sustainability fun around the house.
Any way that you can transform recycling into a game should be used. You’ll be surprised to see how excited kids get about recycling when you turn it into a fun game or competition.
How To Communicate Sustainability To Kids
Different parents will choose different ways to tell their kids about sustainability. If you want a few options to pick from, consider these engaging ideas.
Make Recycled Crafts
Every day, you’re presented with opportunities to make sustainability fun for your kids. Before you throw something out, think about how you can make it into a craft.
A little glitter and some stickers can turn an old water bottle into a fun hanging decoration. You can take an old cardboard box and transform it into their favorite superhero instead of tossing it.
Show Them How
It’s always a good idea to lead by example. If you want to teach your kids all about zero waste living, then live it! Everything that you want your kids to do, you should also do yourself.
This includes recycling, reusing material, turning the lights off when you leave a room, and composting scraps instead of throwing them in the trash.
Gamifying up the idea of sustainability is great when you’re talking to kids. With Sustainability Safari, you can make it fun to clean up the beach. You can even go over a list of the animals whose environments you’re improving to provide extra motivation. Grab a bag and work with your little one to fill it up with litter.
Cleaning trash from the beach helps the environment and helps teach your kid that they shouldn’t throw waste on the ground. When the bag is full, the job is done and your child deserves a reward: think ice cream, an extra story before bed, or their favorite food for dinner.
Dress Up Your Recycling and Compost Bins
Take some time with your kids to create fun characters and decorations for your recycling and compost bins. Responsible waste disposal becomes much more fun when it’s not just a bin that you’re throwing recyclables into, but a bottle-eating monster.
Make sure you keep the idea going. Ask your kids to “feed” the recycling and compost bins rather than just throwing your household waste in them. This process can be used as a learning opportunity that is easily relatable to your kids.
More Ways to Teach Your Kids About Sustainability
Living sustainably is a lifelong commitment. As your child gets older, you’ll need new ways to show them the importance of this lifestyle and introduce new ways of helping the environment. At Miniwiz, we focus on introducing the world to sustainable ideas and actions. Take a look at our site to see more solutions and contact us if you have any questions. Together, we can teach future generations and help save the planet.