It seems that here in the UK, we’re one of the biggest culprits for living precarious lifestyles and neglecting the planet in the process. In fact, it’s recently been announced that there are a number of cities that have been named and shamed for breaching air pollution levels this year, including London, Leeds and Sheffield, to name a few.
Air pollution is a contributor to poor health, not to mention global warming too. As such, it’s our responsibility to teach our children all about the dangers of pollution and how they can do their bit to help the environment. While it isn’t the most interesting of subjects for younger generations, there are a number of fun and quirky ways that you can introduce children to eco-friendly living that they will enjoy. Not only that, but they’re a great way for the whole family to spend some quality time together, too.
Family-run, eco-friendly waste clearance company, Envirowaste, share some of their favourite ways of introducing children to eco-friendly living, so that they can begin doing their bit towards protecting the environment.
Make sure you’re fully invested yourself
Before introducing your children to a more eco-friendly way of living, it’s important to make sure that you yourself are doing everything you can to be environmentally friendly. You’re a hugely influential person in your children’s lives, so seeing and watching what you are doing is bound to have an impact on what they choose to do.
Make sure you’re recycling any waste correctly, whether it’s common household waste such as milk bottles and tins, or the odd electrical item that’s past its best. How about investing in reusable shoppings bags, or cycling to work instead of driving? These are just a few of the simple things you can put into place, before introducing your children to green initiatives.
Turn learning into something fun
Children, especially the younger ones, won’t be interested in the concept of eco-friendly living, if it isn’t fun for them to get involved in. This is where as parents, you can get creative in the ways of introducing green initiatives to them.
Perhaps you spend the day doing a spot of bird watching? Your kids will enjoy looking out for the variety of different birds in the trees, but you can also use this as an opportunity to teach them about how air pollution can impact the birds they are looking at.
You could have them build their very own greenhouse out of plastic bottles! Teach them about how it can impact the environment if we don’t dispose of these bottles correctly, as well as how recycling or upcycling them can help the planet. Building a greenhouse out of the bottles can provide them with somewhere to grow their own fruit and veg – something that plenty of children enjoy. How about turning recycling into a game? You could lay out a number of recyclable objects, mixed in with some that cannot be recycled. From there, your children can race against one another, pulling out recyclable objects and putting them in their basket. The game ends with you checking to see that they have picked the correct objects for recycling and how many each has in their basket.
Of course, these are just a few of the ways in which you could make eco-friendly learning and living fun. If you’ve had any ideas of your own, feel free to share them with us!
Get out and about in an eco-friendly way
Much of the rising air pollution levels comes down to the number of cars on the roads these days, so why not introduce eco-friendly travel to your family? From cycling to school together, to walking to and from the shops, start by swapping one day of driving in the week to a more eco-friendly way of getting around. If it works well, you can gradually increase the number of days your family travels without the car. From this, your children will learn that it’s simple enough to get around without a car for the majority of journeys – a great lesson for later on in their lives.
Reward them for sticking to their eco-friendly ways
The more your children learn about eco-friendly living, the more they should develop their lifestyle and do their bit towards helping the environment. Their learning should be recognised and rewarded, as an incentive for them to continue what they’re doing. You could introduce the good old-fashioned sticker chart, with various rows and columns for the days that they did something eco-friendly, as well as what it was that they did. The more stars or stickers they earn, they more likely it is that they will be rewarded with something amazing!
Have you introduced your children to an eco-friendly way of living? Why not share your suggestions with us to help other parents on their way to encourage their family to live an environmentally-friendly lifestyle?