teaching sustainability

The Lasting Impact of Teaching Sustainability to Your Kids

teaching sustainability to kids

Image by lakshmiprasad S via iStock by Getty Images

Sustainability is a crucial topic kids of all ages can learn. However you choose to teach your child about making eco-friendly choices is up to you, but you shouldn’t avoid the subject. With climate change becoming a more serious threat than ever, your children need to know how they’re going to grow up in an ever-changing world. 

Teaching them sustainability from a young age can show them how to make the best choices for their health and the betterment of the environment. Learning how to care for the world can motivate children to do what they can as long as they can. Your child will be eager to learn more about the world around them and how they can help heal the planet.

What Does Teaching Sustainability Look Like?

You should teach sustainability as you teach your child other things – naturally and without any theatrics. They should learn sustainability is a part of life they shouldn’t try to avoid. Once you know how to incorporate sustainability into your daily life, you’ll better understand how to raise your child with sustainable practices.

Teaching sustainability means opting for all-natural toys and helping your child make good choices from the beginning. Many people prefer wooden toys to plastic toys because of how good they are for the environment. Plus, wooden toys can last for a long time, which might be why you know people who pass down wooden toys from previous generations to their children.

If you want to teach your child sustainability from a young age, you need to show them just what sustainability means in terms of all your behaviors. Before you buy something, consider its packaging and pay attention to what you may be telling your child by purchasing the item. Promote sustainability whenever you can in your life and be sure to tell your child why you make certain choices.

Sometimes, learning about why preserving the natural world matters is as easy as taking your child outside. Being out in nature can promote calmness and people’s mental well-being, making nature one of the most healing environments a child could experience. After spending some time outside, whether relaxing or being active, your child should notice a difference in how they feel. Guide them through questions and teach them how nature can create a sense of tranquility in everyone – and that’s one of the reasons it should be preserved.

What Are the Benefits of Teaching Sustainability to Your Child?

While teaching sustainability to your child may be easy, making changes that make life a little more inconvenient may not feel worth it. You may have to style some of your life differently to teach your child more about sustainability – or you could show them small changes make a difference and slowly work toward a more sustainable lifestyle together.

As inconvenient as a fully sustainable life may seem at times, you’ll find countless benefits associated with teaching your child about a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

1. A Healthier Lifestyle

Switching to more sustainable items means a healthier lifestyle. If your child is young, they’re likely putting things in their mouth as they discover the world around them. Nearly 20% of European children’s toys sampled had trace amounts of BPA found in them. With plastic items, you never quite know what’s going on in your child’s system. Switching to more sustainable materials, like wooden toys, can benefit your child in the long run from a young age.

Practicing sustainability leads to a healthier lifestyle, both physically and mentally. When you make more sustainable choices, you might be eating healthier and making healthier lifestyle choices, such as how and where you choose to spend your time. If you appreciate the Earth more, you might spend more time in nature, helping you feel even better.

2. Better Communication

Social-emotional learning (SEL) can help improve mental health and make students more receptive to growth and betterment. You can achieve SEL by just helping your child explore the world outdoors and teaching them why the natural world needs to be protected.

Allowing children to have experiences that improve their environmental literacy can figure out a better way to communicate their feelings to others. Sustainable practices help your child learn more about themselves, which can improve their communication skills with people their age.

3. Lasting Changes

Children can learn more easily than adults, meaning the habits they create when they are young will likely stick with them through adulthood. If you raise them a certain way, they may carry those practices into the future and even teach them to the next generation. The fact that kids adhere to what they’re taught from a young age is seen in other areas of life, such as nutrition. Early sustainability teaching could lay down the stepping stones they need for the future.

Teaching children about conservation and sustainability ensures they have a world to enjoy in the future and show to their own children. Children are the next generation, and soon, they’ll be looking after the planet and fighting climate change. If they know how best to protect their world now, they’ll likely follow through as adults.

4. Better for the Environment

Of course, sustainability is going to benefit the environment. Your child will love to see how they can change the world, no matter how small their actions are. When life may seem bleak, just remind them every little thing they do can benefit the world and inspire others to make a change, too.

The changes you make will benefit your household and beyond. In the long run, wooden toys are better for your child’s health and better for the environment, as they’re made of a material that can break down quickly. You may start to opt for foods with less plastic packaging. You might incorporate sustainable materials into your next home remodel. Teaching your child about sustainability can ensure they know how to take care of themselves in the future.

Live a Sustainable Life From Now On

While making multiple changes at once can be difficult, you need to live a somewhat sustainable lifestyle if you plan to teach your child how to take care of the Earth once they’re independent.

You don’t have to make several changes all at once – taking steps to live a more sustainable lifestyle and explaining why you’re making those changes along the way can help your child understand why they should follow in your footsteps. Once the next generation knows how to care for the world they live in, society might have a brighter future while fighting climate change.

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