Last updated on May 24th, 2023 at 04:15 pm
As adults, it’s our responsibility to do what we can to mitigate the impact of climate change. But it’s also important to recognize the role kids have. They’ll be inheriting a planet with a range of climate-related challenges, after all.
When we teach kids about sustainability, we’re giving them the opportunity to influence, develop, and perpetuate a more environmentally-responsible society in the future. But, as with any lesson you’re trying to teach your children, it’ll be more effective (and enjoyable) when paired with some fun. So, let’s look at seven at-home activities you can use to teach kids about sustainability.
Teach Kids About Sustainability With These At-Home Activities
Renewable energy is one of the most important tools we have to address the irreversible impact of climate change. That’s why it’s essential for children to learn about the different types of alternative energies and how they work.
For example, you could demonstrate how energy from the sun can be harnessed practically by making a small solar-powered oven and cooking up some s’mores. Or, you can teach them how turbines turn wind into energy, and then challenge them to design the most effective pinwheels.
Recycled Arts and Crafts
Recycling should be a part of your children’s everyday routine. However, there are some items that are difficult to dispose of through normal recycling services. For instance, while shredded paper may be recyclable, this is often missed in industrial sifting processes and still ends up in landfills. Some recycling centers won’t accept shredded paper unless you collect it over time and take a large bulk delivery to their facility. You can teach your kids about sustainability and show your children how to reuse difficult-to-recycle materials through a variety of arts and crafts projects.
Shredded paper is the perfect material for papier-mache projects. You can also utilize old magazines, paper, and cardboard for crafting or even making your own recycled paper at home. These activities are both fun and educational, and they teach children about the recycling process.
Make a Composter
Composting is a responsible way to dispose of organic household waste. It also produces materials that enrich the soil for your home vegetable garden. Not to mention that incorporating this into your home life can get children used to separating waste items responsibly.
You can make a fun activity out of this by having your children create a composter. Choose a suitable size container for the amount of organic waste your family produces. When you drill holes in the bin, talk about how air circulation aids in decomposition. Design the container so each member of the family can be involved in using and turning the compost, emphasizing everyone’s important role in sustainability.
Fungi are among the most important contributors to our ecosystem. They can break down even toxic and non-biodegradable materials while producing nourishing food. Teaching your kids about mushrooms can be a fascinating process that also emphasizes the importance of a symbiotic relationship with the planet.
One effective way to approach this is by cultivating mushrooms at home. Pick a strain of mushroom that is easy to grow and makes for an edible treat. Create an effective substrate using waste organic materials, such as coffee grounds and sawdust.
You and your kids can then discuss the decomposers in the ecosystem as your mushrooms grow from spores, to mycelium, to fruiting bodies.
At the end of the process, not only will your child understand some mycological science, but they’ll also see how sustainable agriculture is a more mutually positive interaction with our environment.
Clothes tend to have a limited life span for many reasons. Children grow out of them, they become damaged, or they simply go out of fashion. [Also read: Slow Fashion vs Fast Fashion: What to Know]
Unfortunately, textiles can put additional pressure on landfills, while the demand from manufacturers can produce greater waste and emissions.
To teach kids about sustainability when it comes to fashion, show them how to turn old clothes into other items. For instance, pants can be transformed into shorts and old jackets can become components for tote bags. Wherever possible, teach your kids to upcycle or repair clothes to extend their lifespan.
Start a Worm Farm
Some kids already enjoy playing in the dirt with worms. Others are more reluctant. Yet, it’s worth taking the time to show children that these creatures have an important role to play in sustainable living. Worms aerate soil, consume waste materials, and enrich the land with their own waste.
You can help demonstrate this by encouraging your kids to start a worm farm. This can be done relatively simply with a jar or container, newspaper, dirt, and some worms from the yard. Your kids can add organic waste and water to the farm regularly and then observe how the worms naturally transform this into usable fertilizer.
A yard can be more than an outdoor space to relax in. It can also be a powerful tool for sustainability education. You can teach your kids about protecting the planet by engaging them in environmentally-friendly yard design activities.
For instance, you could discuss how pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, are essential to food production and the health of the natural world. You can involve your children in choosing and growing attractive plants for local pollinators, designing a vegetable garden, and rotating crops in line with the seasons.
Our children and grandchildren will inherit a vulnerable planet, so they need to understand the importance of their actions in protecting the earth. Take the time to teach kids about sustainability by introducing fun and practical activities, like recycled crafting projects, composting, and gardening, to name a few.
These are just some of the ways to make eco-friendly practices a regular part of your family’s routine while creating good habits that will follow your children into adulthood.
Do you have any other ideas? Leave us a comment below.7 At-Home Activities to Teach Kids About Sustainability | #recycle #sustainability Click To Tweet
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