Go to fullsize imageI came across this list of 10 Simple Things you can teach your kids to have apositive impact on the environment instead of using and abusing the earth.  I love it because it’s simple and makes sense.  You are probably already doing some of the list items but hopefully there are some new ideas to add to your daily activities.

1.  Appreciate Space:  Take them to play in public/shared parks and areas.  Walk or cycle to these areas to appreciate your communities environment.

2.  Create a Garden:  Whether it’s vegetables or flowers, create a garden with your kids.  Discuss water use, recycling, and how things grow with them.  Let them harvest their own goodies to eat at the table.  You can even go another step by adding a worm farm.  A worm farm (in the garden) would be a big hit for those little ones interested in dirt but not so interested in the plants.

3.  Discuss Electricity:  Talk/discuss with your kids from a young age about how electricity is made, how it works, and it’s costs.  This will open discussions about how you can get electricity from different sources and also how not to waste electricity.  This is great for kids who are at an age where they always ask “Why? How? What..?”.

4.  Encourage Biking:  Buy them their first bike, teach them to be safe, and when they are old enough have them ride on their own to a destination.  Teach them that cars aren’t the only means of transportation.   Explain the benefits of cycling to places and ride with them whenever you can.

5.  Throw Less Stuff Away:  Show your kids how to generate less waste and how to reuse/repurpose items.  Involve them in recycling by keeping bins handy for easy sorting.

6.  Appreciate Water:  Kids love to play in water, but often do not realize it’s importance.  Explain that water is essential for living and how it’s short in supply.  You can start by telling them these facts:  Everything you drink is mostly water.  Your body is mostly water.  People, animal and plants die without water.  You pay for water (show them the water bill if they can understand that).  A drought happens when not enought rain falls to replenish water supplies.  Look at news stories in the paper related to this.  Soon they will be appreciating water and telling you to turn off the sink.  For water safety and ideas for introducing your youngsters to water, head on over to Good Idea Momma’s post on swimming lessons.

7.  Respect Nature:  Take your kids camping and use “leave no trace principles” when you are in a natural setting.  Leave natural things where they belong (in nature) and avoid natural areas that have already been “overused”.

8.  Respect Other Cultures:  Discuss (or even better show them) with your children how other cultures live.  Discuss problems day-to-day problems that people in other countries deal with.  Visit areas in your own city where people from different cultures are visible.  Try to explain the importance of a strong local community with your kids.

9.  Be Trendy Without Buying New Gear:  Teach them how to take care of what they have instead of having a “disposable” mentality.  Take them shopping at second hand stores when they are young to let them know that there’s “cool” stuff there too. 

10.  Eat Healthy Food:  Develop a love for fresh fruit and vegetables by introducing them to your kids from an early age.  Avoid unnatural chemicals and additives as much as possible.  Talk with them about how food gets to their table.

Information listed here was gathered from Sustainable Living for Dummies, Australian Edition.  G’day Mate!