Taking care of our planet is a big job, but each little thing we do matters.
There are a lot of reasons to be concerned—from climate change to overpopulation to the dwindling of natural resources. Each year, Earth Day is held on April 22 to inspire support for protecting our environment. It’s up to each generation to teach the next about taking responsibility for the world around them. That knowledge then gets passed on to future generations as we all do our best to remain aware, learn from the past, and adjust our routines.
Here are 5 simple things you can do at home to encourage your child to be environmentally conscious:
Get outside. The best way to help your child become more aware of the environment is to spend more time in it! Go on family bike rides around the neighborhood or spend time at a nearby park. Enjoying nature in any form can benefit your child’s physical and mental health, as well as teach them to be eco-friendly and to care about their surroundings.
Be energy aware. Talk to your child about how to save energy and resources on a day-to-day basis. Encourage them to turn off the water while brushing their teeth or to turn the lights off when they leave a room. Lead by example! Set a timer for your showers or turn off the tap in between washing dishes to conserve water.
Grow your own food. Dedicate an area of your yard or even a few planters to growing your own fruits and vegetables. Even if you can’t have a garden at home, take the opportunity to discuss shopping habits when visiting the grocery store. Encourage your child to choose loose fruits and vegetables versus those wrapped in plastic. You can also use your own reusable produce bags.
Reduce your plastic consumption. Start making small changes to your daily routine and explain to your child why it’s important. Carry reusable shopping bags into stores, use refillable soap dispensers or bar soap at home, and use your own reusable water bottle instead of disposable containers. If possible, recycle!
Volunteer together. Be an example for your kids and show them it can be fun to help others while making a difference for the planet. Help a local organization plant trees or clean up parks. Donate furniture, household items, toys, or old clothing to local shelters or other organizations to lessen what ends up in the landfill.
Remember, each small thing you do in your home or in your community will ultimately have a positive impact on the environment. The ripple effects of awareness can go a long way!
BONUS: If you’d like to take the conversation even further, check out some of these books from your local library. They’re perfect for Earth Day—or any day!