Children are the future. At Stuck on You we care about the planet’s well-being as much as we care about you and your kids. We always talk about caring for and organizing your home, but what about OUR home? The one we all share, the Earth. To celebrate this beautiful world, filled with magical places, cultures, and people, we want to give you some tips on how to teach your kids to care for the planet, beyond Earth Day. Because every day should be Earth Day!
Lead by example.
We’ve all been there before. Watched a paper napkin fly away from the table next to ours, or walked by someone littering the streets. Teaching your kids how to respect the planet begins by showing them how you do it.
It’s not only about talking to them, but also about being careful and conscious about your own behavior, so that they will pick up on it. Remember, there’s a much smaller, more innocent version of you emulating your every step.
Let the kids get dirty.
And by this we mean take them on hikes, go camping, play in the snow, or visit the nearest beach. Why not start a vegetable garden in your backyard? Or volunteer to pick up garbage at the beach? Maybe even start a compost pile out of food scraps to use for the garden and plants around the house.
Show them how things grow outside, how they work, and teach them to love nature; then they’ll learn to appreciate the Earth and take care of it.
The Three R’s: Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, every year we generate more garbage than we recycle. That’s why teaching our children to “reduce, reuse, recycle” is important.
Kids learn better by watching and interacting, so lead by example. Enlist their help when you’re actively recycling. You can even make it into a fun game – a race to the recycling bin to see who sorts out more items the fastest is one of our favorites. Teach them how to reuse items such as paper rolls, bottles, and egg crates for crafts.
Find a nearby local market that you can take the children to on the weekends. Let them walk amongst the stands of colorful local produce and pick out what they want. Teach them what to look for in fruits and vegetables. You can even have one of the local farmers tell them why it’s important to buy local and organic produce. The habits you create for them now will become their own in the future.
Teach them the value of the things you can’t buy.
Just like how you teach kids to share their toys and candy, teach them that the Earth doesn’t belong to anyone, but to everyone. We share it with plants, animals and people, and it’s our job to keep the Earth clean so that everyone can live on it.
A great way to do this is through literature. Read them story books like “Big Earth, Little Me” by Tom Wiley, or “I Can Save the Earth” by Alison Inches. These teach them about energy, garbage, recycling, and the importance of nature. The best part? They’re made of recycled materials!
Now you have everything you need to start teaching your kids how to take care of this big old Earth!