How to teach your kids to be eco-conscious

6 months ago
Photo by Andre Branch
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.

There are plenty of parental pressures that come with having children, some will ebb and flow out of rotation and some will always remain. You can take a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. The same could be said for my younger self and clarinet lessons. Music makes the heart grow bigger but the wallet thinner, there are plenty of habits and hobbies that we routinely throw away money on both as children and as parents of children. However, there are a couple of skills that cost nothing to learn and can mean everything in the long run. 

Teaching your children to be eco-conscious can be one of the most rewarding (and frustrating) skills that habits that you can teach your children so that they grow up to be better adults, better humans, and better contributors to society.

Climate change and the unstoppable force of human consumption have the world at an almost inconceivable tipping point. Animals such as tigers and panda are crawling towards extinction, rainforests are being destroyed and global warming has resulted in catastrophic loss of life. I imagine it is not the ideal world that you pictured sharing with your children.

However, activists have made a concerted effort to raise awareness to these environmental issues and they have created a number of empowering and enlightening social movements to change the shape of the future. The world is too big to save for tiny humans, but the lessons they can learn about during their childhood can help to shape the world they create with their futures.

It is ok to teach from history's mistakes. It is easy to believe that future generations will look down on us for the levels of unthoughtful consumption we have constructed, the mess we have made and the losses we have dismissed. However, it is important to talk about them and acknowledge them, not to scare your children or upset them but to give them the opportunity to be better than us. 

You can also find examples of the work that the has been done to rectify the damage, not just the government agreements but the people behind the work.

Heroes like husband-wife team Daniel Janzen and Winnie Hallwachs who organised for the Del Oro juice company to deposit wasted orange peel at no cost, on degraded and deforested land in Costa Rica for for biodegradation. 15 years later the area has not only seen improvement, it is thriving! The area that was once destroyed is now covered in trees, vines and greenery, neighbouring wildlife has also moved into that area of the park and embraced the change. 

Tell your children about offshore wind farms and how we searched for new sustainable technology and how we used the earth's natural strengths to turn our lights on 

Tell them about the Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery Plan which saw the reintroduction of gray wolves into Yellowstone National Park in 1995 saw massive changes in the environment as a result as well as prioritising an endangered species over human fears and sport. Talk about how Wolves changed rivers. 

Teach your children that there are small changes they can make that make a big difference. Make sure that they know that there are other people fighting for a better future alongside them.

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