How to Teach Children about Sustainability
Teaching children about sustainability is just as important at home as it is as school. Giving your children the proper knowledge and tools to live in the changing world is the best thing possible, and providing a good role model at home and school is most important of all. As they say, “children are great imitators, so give them something great to imitate”. At a loss of how to begin teaching your kids about being green and sustainable? The Waste to Energy Systems team has put together a few easy ideas of their own to aid as hands on teaching tools at home or in the classroom.
1. Grow a garden: Growing a garden will help teach children how to be self-sufficient and appreciate where food comes from. Plus, it means they get to play in the dirt which has a whole different set of benefits for the health and overall well being.
2. Volunteer on eco-friendly projects: Volunteering to help plant in a community garden, clean up litter, or maintain the local park will help teach children to appreciate nature and learn that it is important to take action. Not to mention teaching them how to act as part of a team with a common goal to accomplish.
3. Set up a carpool system with other parents: This will teach children not only to help others but to look for ways to be more efficient in their energy usage and prioritizing.
4. Recycle and compost: Explain why recycling and composting help keep unnecessary waste out of landfills not to mention the value of compost for your home or school garden. Set up a fun game where every time they remember to recycle or put food waste in the compost, they get a good mark toward a reward.
5. Go to Farmers Markets: If there is no room for a garden at home or at school, then visiting farmers markets is a great alternative (or addition). Farmers markets will teach children to look for local products first before choosing items that have a larger carbon footprint.
6. Repurpose old items: Instead of throwing away that old bike tire, wine bottles or that old lamp, teach your child through a fun group project creative ways to repurpose and reuse rather than shy away from a little elbow grease by throwing it in a landfill. This will help teach children to move away from the disposable mentality and learn to buy items that can have multiple uses.
7. Walk and/or bike places: A better choice for those that live in more urban areas. Group walks or bike rides to the park, to get ice cream or simply for exercise help teach kids to think of alternative ways of transportation and to stay fit!