It’s never too early to green your kids
5 ways to get your kids to live a more green lifestyle.

I recently read about a family of four living in California that have generated no more than a Consol jar full of waste during the last year! It’s a thing and they’ve been having it. Zero waste living forces you to re-evaluate everything. From every item you hold in your home, to how you shop, to what you are putting into your mouth and what you are doing with what gets left behind.

Read more: Celebs go green!
Save the planet, don’t have more kids!

By de-cluttering our lives we invite less wastefulness. And without the distraction of having, wanting or collecting too many things that we don’t need or use, we are able to focus on experiences.

We have all become slaves to consumerism and we seem to keep forgetting that we alone are responsible for our choices and that we need to think more carefully about how we choose. Too often we are driven by advertising or convenience but we really do hold the power to making more responsible decisions that will have valuable impacts not only on our lives but also on the sustainability of our environments.

Flooded as we are by advertising it’s never too early to start teaching our children about the value of experiences rather than having ‘stuff’ or about the negative impact consumerism has on our environment.

Here are a few ideas I’ve read about to get them interested in caring about their environment:

1. Visual aids

Give them movies to watch or books to read about what is happening to earth and what we can do about it. The Lorax and Wall E are great movies for kids and there’s a wonderful book written by Melanie Walsh called 10 Things I can do to help save my world.

2. Decluttering

Toy boxes full of forgotten items are a shameful waste and having less to clean up means more time to play. Those toys would be a welcome sight at any charity or orphanage and re-distributing items that have already been produced creates less of a demand for new ones. I found that my son was very eager to give his toys to someone that didn’t have any and even had his own suggestions as to who they should go to! (A lady that often stands with her young boy on a corner near our home, asking for food.)

3. Do things with them

This one’s simple and a winner on so many levels. Take them hiking, camping or picnicking. Show them what it is we need to protect. These activities can be done in a way that has zero impact on the environment, you’ll be spending time together as a family and your children will get to experience the wonder of nature.

4. Gift them with experiences

Instead of yet another Lego set (sorry Lego) or the next level Playstation rather give them tickets to go see their favourite local band or sign them up for dance lessons or to go sandboarding. Or present them with ‘vouchers’ to go see a movie or a theatre show with their friend. These are also great and environmentally friendly gifting ideas to take to the stream of never ending birthday parties that our kids seem to get invited to.

5. Get dirty with them

Let them get involved in the composting. Get a worm farm at home. Show them how to grow something. I mean, do you know how easy it is to grow potatoes!? Letting them share in these kinds of experiences helps foster a great respect for nature and her processes.

How are you and your family ‘getting back’ to nature?

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