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How to raise a tree-hugger

Naomi de la Torre is freelance writer and stay-at-home-mom with two delightful boys, ages three and six. Naomi has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona, is a self-proclaimed salsa diva, and can make a killer octopus ...

Teach your child to love the earth

Helping your child to connect with nature is the perfect way to instill a natural love for the planet. Take part in outdoor activities as a family on regular basis and learn about more ways to raise an environmentally conscious child.

Make the world your playground

What’s the best way to teach your child to love the earth? Go outside! Research by environmentalist Louise Chawla shows that children who spend time outdoors regularly develop a deeper respect for the environment. When we feel connected to the natural world, the desire to protect it comes naturally. You can help your children become environmentally aware by making a conscious effort to spend time outdoors. Go camping. Take nature hikes. Go searching for seashells along the beach. Have a picnic in the forest. Everyone in the family will have fun while you develop an appreciation for the natural world.

Discover creative outdoor activities for the family >>

Grow your own food

Books about the environment

Save the planet one book at a time! Teach your children to live green by reading eco-friendly books together. Ready to get started? Here are a few of our favorites:

When you grow up in a world where chicken and milk come in packages from the supermarket, it can be hard to understand how our everyday life impacts the environment. Planting a vegetable garden is a wonderful (and tasty!) way to help your children make a deeper connection to the natural world while fostering environmentally-healthy habits. Do you live in the city? Consider working together with your neighbors to plant a community garden that will help everyone in your community develop a sense of stewardship for the environment.

How to grow a garden without a yard >>

Teach sustainable habits

We can easily help the next generation to live more sustainably by changing our own daily habits. Young children learn best by imitating those around them. Show your children how to leave a smaller carbon footprint by turning off faucets and lights, recycling, eating locally grown foods, using natural cleaners and choosing to walk or take the bus to local destinations.

Make these recycling crafts for kids >>

Participate in eco-friendly service projects

Enrich your family life by becoming more environmentally active. Not sure where to begin? How about organizing a neighborhood clean-up of a local park, planting a tree in your backyard, adopting a road for trash pick-up, improving the recycling program at your school or church, or raising awareness by planning a fun Earth Day activity for friends and family? Little changes can make a big difference. Let's all get involved and we can make a better world together.

More on helping the environment

8 Earth day traditions kids will love
Celebrating Earth Day with kids
Fun ways to teach your kids to "go green"

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