The Importance Of Green Education For Kids

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environmental kids

Everybody knows the old saying that kids are our future. Well as cliché as it sounds it’s true. I remember when I was growing up the green movement hadn’t really made its mark in the world yet (at least in mine). In school I can’t recall any emphasis on green education or ways to be less wasteful. The only thing I remember was that song “Recycle, Reduce, Reuse and close the loop…and close the loop.” Unfortunately, the adults in my life never put in to practice what little I had learned in school so I never picked up on any valuable lessons regarding the environment. If I had seen my mother using reusable grocery bags at the store instead of plastic ones I would have probably asked questions. I never saw recycling take place in my home either or was never told to turn off the water when I brushed my teeth.

Of course as you approach adult hood you form strong opinions about life, the world, politics what have you. I’m fairly new to living a sustainable life and all it took for me were to learn some cold hard facts about pesticides in our produce and cancer causing chemicals in soap and from there pretty much extended into a myriad of healthy changes in my life. I realized I wanted to live my life as in tuned with what God has provided for me through nature. If I lived in biblical times I would likely be living on a prairie washing my clothes on a washboard, line drying them near a field of yellow poppy’s, making my own medicine out of healing herbs and spending a lot of quality time outdoors with my children. That sounds like a dream compared to the hectic life most of us have. Of course there are amazing things about the evolution of science, medicine and technology these days but I don’t see why I can’t revert back to using some of the natural practices of the past that have proven to work even today.

The closest examples kids follow in their lives are choices made by their parents. So to instill some old fashioned as well as new fashioned sustainable lessons we are investing in the well being of our children’s future. We definitely don’t want to force a ton of information down their throats so I think it’s important that we stick to the fundamentals of green living by remembering the importance of green education for kids. So here is a general guideline of basic tips i thought you may find useful.

TIP 1 – DON’T BE WASTEFUL…OF ANYTHING. The underlying basis is something we’ve heard time and time again but it’s an important fundamental lesson. You want to remind your kids and teach them to make the most of whatever they use. Like for instance when drawing or coloring, explain why they should use two sides of the paper instead of one.

TIP 2- SAVE ENERGY- Make sure to tell your kids to only use lights when they need it. Don’t ever turn on a lamp during the day when natural light is plentiful. Also turning the water off when you brush your teeth, and taking a short shower to save water. This is yet another basic staple to pursue a sustainable life.

TIP 3- RECYCLE CLOTHING- Children often like the idea of sharing with other kids if they know that they are in need. Reveal to them that giving your clothes to someone who is less fortunate than you is a good principle of reusing. Instead of outgrown clothes ending up in the trash, they will be giving them a new purpose in some other little boy/girls closet.

TIP 4- THINK GREEN- One of the most important things about getting kids to be “green thinkers” is to get them more involved outside. Let them re-connect with nature. Kids spend nearly 55 hours a week indoors using electronics and rarely letting a ray of sunshine touch their cheek. This is a serious problem in America today. If we want our kids to make good choices we need to stress the importance of nature, animals, eco systems, spending some quiet time, and staying active in their daily routine.

TIP 5-GREEN ACTIVITIES- Activities to encourage green behaviors. Make a routine hour each day and dub it the “Green Hour.” There are many activities that kids will find fun. Have an outdoor wildlife exploration. Going around your backyard or nearby parks and documenting all the different bugs, leaves, trees and flowers you can find. If you want to print out an activity sheet for this project you can find it on the National Wildlife Federation “Be Out There” campaign page.

In Part 2  of Green Education For Kids I will cover tips 6-11 and go over more important reasons why children need to be educated on eco friendly habits. Until then, you can think of other ways to get the kids involved and plan ahead when you can dedicate some time to go over the basic topics with them.

Photo Credit: Some rights reserved by Ernst Vikne on Flickr.

Angie Tarantino
About Angie Tarantino (148 Posts)

Angie Tarantino is a contributor and part founder of The Environmental Blog. She covers animal rights, green tips and general green news topics She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. Follow @EcoChic314

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