We don’t know about you, but our considerations for our kids and the future of our planet increases by the minute. It gets us thinking…as a parent, what exactly is the best way to teach our kids about the importance of sustainability and taking care of our planet? Although we’re not experts in this category, we came up with a few ideas that might help get the conversation started with your little:
1. Start a backyard compost
Ok ok, we know that this sounds like a high barrier to entry. But we promise, if you have a backyard, creating a compost is a surprisingly easy and fun way to introduce your kids to living more sustainably. Not sure where to start? Green Matters has a great resource. If you’re not ready to commit to starting your own compost, there are plenty of local compost programs that pick up your waste and drop off soil!
2. Implement Meatless Mondays
Even going meat-free one day per week drastically improves your family’s carbon footprint. Implementing Meatless Mondays with your little ones is a great way to start a conversation about the effects of livestock farming and the impact that every individual has on the environment. Luckily, Little Spoon has plenty of meat-free toddler + kid’s meals your mini will love.
3. Go green yourself
Let’s face it, our kiddos are major copycats and learn the most from watching our habits. If you want to teach your child about the importance of sustainability, prioritizing sustainability in your own life is a great place to start! Whether that means using cloth diapers (or maybe just the most environmentally friendly on the market), metal straws and reusable cleaning supplies, your babe is bound to get curious and learn from your efforts.
4. Grow a garden
Whether it’s just growing an avocado in your kitchen (fyi it’ll take 6 years to fruit, so prepare for patience) or planting an entire garden in the backyard, getting your children involved in this process helps them have hands-on experience with their environment and learning about where their food comes from.
5. Read books
We’re all about those low-lift options. Swap one of your bedtime stories for books like Climate Change for Babies or Old Enough to Save the Planet to introduce your kiddos to these complex topics in an approachable way.
6. Take a trip to your local recycling center
I took a trip to my local recycling center back in high school and it was a truly illuminating experience. It made me so much more aware of how to properly recycle and have more respect for the process itself. Whether you suggest that your child’s school takes a field trip or simply get a group of family friends to organize a visit, it’s definitely worth your time.
7. Craft Sustainably
Rather than raiding the art store and spending your last paycheck on new art supplies for your kiddos, get creative! There are tons of items that can be repurposed for craft time with your mini. We love consulting this list of 50+ recycled crafts from Fave Crafts to get inspo.
8. Neighborhood species scavenger hunt
Go around your neighborhood or even just your backyard and take note of all of the different plant and animal species that you and your mini see! Bring a notepad and a book on native species in your area to make things more fun. If neither of you are familiar with a certain plant or insect, look it up!
9. Plant a tree
Word on the street is that planting a tree is one of the best things that you can do for the environment. Whether it’s a miniature tree or a massive endeavor, getting your hands dirty with your mini is a great way to expose them to nature!
10. Visit a local farm
Shopping from local farms or farmer’s markets is a massive contribution to the environment. Plus, so many farms run programs for kids to introduce them to the importance of sustainable farming. Looks like a fun family outing is in your future.