Teaching kids about sustainability

How to Define Sustainability in Simple Words for Kids

Teaching children about caring for the planet becomes increasingly essential as global temperatures rise. It is, however, a complex concept that can be challenging to explain to little ones. Discover how to introduce sustainability for kids through simple terms and interactive activities.

Teaching kids about sustainability

Why Is It Important to Teach Kids About Sustainability?

Sustainable living is more fulfilling when you do it with your child. They are the future generation and must learn how to care for the planet. Here are the advantages of teaching children about nature conservation:

Fosters Critical Mindset

Instilling eco-friendly habits helps cultivate a caring mindset. It helps children understand the value of nature and the possible consequences of their actions. For example, instead of throwing plastic bottles away, they’ll reuse them to create art or repurpose them to water plants. Why? Because they won’t want such waste ending up in the ocean. Better yet, they’ll choose to use reusable products instead of single-use plastic. 

Creates Good Habits 

When a kid does something at a young age, it can become a habit as they grow up. The same applies when you teach your child sustainable practices — they will carry it with them through adulthood and influence their children to do the same.

Encourages Healthier Lifestyle

Around 20% of European children’s toys have trace amounts of BPA, harmful chemicals that may affect the brain. Once a child understands the possible health implications of plastic items, they will be more conscious about what they use. Small practices like opting for wooden toys or metal straws can reduce their exposure to toxins.

How to Explain Sustainability and Environmental Issues to Children

Define the concept in an engaging and relatable way. For instance, it can mean making small changes so the Earth stays happy and healthy. It requires people to unite so animals, plants and other natural resources can support future generations.

Here are two sustainability problems you can introduce in simpler terms:

  • Deforestation: Chopping down too many trees can lead to soil erosion, destroying homes, fields and even human lives.
  • Plastic pollution: Around 300 million metric tons of plastic end up in landfills annually and approximately 8 million metric tons go into the ocean, which can potentially kill sea creatures. 

Fun Ways to Teach Kids About Sustainability

Teaching your child how to love the planet can be fun and engaging through various lessons and activities. Learn how to teach sustainability to your kid in a fun way.

Read Books About the Environment

Storytelling exposes your children to diverse vocabulary and expands their knowledge. You can help them better understand sustainability by reading stories about caring for natural resources. For instance, the book “Charlie Makes a Splash” explores the benefits of water, which can increase your kid’s appreciation of water-related activities, such as swimming and visiting the aquarium. 

Spend Time Outdoors

Connecting with nature helps your child appreciate the great outdoors and everything in it. Visit a local farm, go on a hike, enjoy birdwatching or go camping. Outdoor activities allow your kid to explore freely and discover new knowledge about natural resources.

Plant in Your Backyard

Gardening encourages a child to get their hands dirty and understand where their food comes from. Invite your kid to plant and care for vegetables. Sourcing wholesome food from your backyard can reduce emissions caused by transportation and help your little one better appreciate the world.

Teach Composting

Discuss the importance of recycling food waste. Create a composting bin or reach out to local programs and ask if they have compost pickup zones. Teach your children that fruit and vegetable scraps can fertilize plants, reducing the need for chemical fertilizers.

Recycle at Home

Label your bins for paper, plastic and waste and teach your kids about the different types of garbage. In addition to teaching them what goes into each bin, you can encourage them to donate their old toys and clothes instead of throwing them away. You can also give them tips on how to minimize their overall waste. 

Teach Sustainability to Kids Today

Teaching children how to love the Earth is like planting seeds for a brighter future. Help your kid grow in a world where caring for the planet is second nature.

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