The message that the planet may be in peril is a big pill to swallow, especially when you're a kid. When trying to get your youngsters interested in becoming eco-friendly kids when heading back to the classroom, keep the lesson both simple and relatable. "Too often environmental education is all 'doom and gloom' — melting ice caps, disappearing honey bees, dying polar bears — but this only works to scare kids, not inspire or motivate them to make a difference," shares Albe Zakes, global vice president, media relations for TerraCycle, Inc. "Instead, making environmental responsibility fun, engaging, interactive — even a 'game' — is a far more effective way to get kids interested and motivated to do their part."
According to treehugger.com, each student generates 240 pounds of waste and 18,760 pounds of lunch waste each year. But, how do you translate that into something tangible kids can understand? "Kids like to be able to see the impact of their actions," says Zakes. "Like all humans, they have relatively short attention spans and memories. Cleaning up a local water way or park allows them to take personal pride in the outcome, even doing a DIY or art project with recycled materials allows them to show off their work to family or friends. This personal connection will help drive more responsible behavior in the future."
While green back-to-school tips for every age can inspire kids to give back to Mother Earth, you can encourage children to become eco-friendly kids by setting a good example. Join in on their environmental efforts and become a green family, seeking out tips on how to incorporate sustainable living into your household and help kids of any grade level know that they, too, can make a difference, even when going back to school.
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