Creative Child

Tips for Raising Earth-Friendly Children

by Rebecca Eanes

Going green may seem like a big undertaking, but each of us can make small steps toward living greener, and those small steps will add up to make a big difference for our planet. Taking care of our earth is a family affair, and as with everything else, our children are watching our example.

As Earth Day approaches, talk to your children about the importance of being eco-friendly and teach them these tips toward a greener lifestyle.


Love and Respect the Great Outdoors

This is the most basic way to raise earth-friendly kids – teaching them to love and respect nature. Get them outside as often as possible. Let them wade shallow creeks and play in the dirt. Take hikes and observe the wildlife. Go camping. In Cub Scouts, children are taught to leave no trace when they go outdoors. Leave everything as you found it, and travel lightly on the land. Teach kids to respect the plants, animals, and even the insects. Spend hours throughout their childhoods looking up at the clouds or the stars and talking about the beauty and magnificence of it all. Visit caves to see stalactites and stalagmites, see great waterfalls and canyons, and walk through forests and national parks. Children will naturally develop a love of nature if they are allowed to frolic about in it.

If there is no room for traveling, camping, and sight-seeing in your calendar or budget, the same can be accomplished right in your own back yard. Plant a vegetable garden with your kids and allow them responsibility for it. Create birdfeeders, squirrel feeders, and birdbaths and have the kids refill them every day. Give each child a pot and allow them to choose the kind of flower or plant they’d like to grow and tend to. Pick up litter that blows onto your property and consider taking a walk around the neighborhood to pick up litter once a week or so.

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