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Teaching Your Children To Be Environmentally Friendly

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As parents, we are responsible for teaching our children how to look after the environment around them. After all, they are the future, and when we have long left the world, we want to leave it in their safe hands. Here are some useful ways to help your family be environmentally friendly and make a difference in the lives of others.

Set An Example
If you don’t take the time to recycle or reduce energy, how can you expect your child to do the same? In all the suggestions listed here, be sure that you are the first in the household to care for the environment. As you do so, explain to your child the importance of what you are doing and how it is helping the world.


Respect the Outdoors
Beginning in your garden, teach your children the value of the wildlife around them. One good way is to set up an area for birds, including a birdhouse, birdbath and feeder. Let your child take responsibility in refilling the bath and restocking bird seed. They will find this a rewarding experience, knowing they have taken some care in looking after nature’s creatures. Add to your child’s education and buy a book about birds, ticking off any that you and your kids have seen using the garden. Of course, make sure you keep your cat indoors. Nature can be wonderful, but it can be cruel too!

Take a trip to the local park or beach, and discuss what plants and wildlife can be seen. Encourage your child to use their senses including listening for local creatures and smelling the fragrance from different kinds of flowers. On your travels you are sure to come across litter bins, so always tell your child to use them for rubbish. When you see any litter on the floor or find any dog waste, show sorrow as to the attitude of less thoughtful people, and explain how debris can be dangerous to animals and birds.

While you should always instruct your child to never pick anything up with their bare hands, spend time doing an occasional litter pick. Always wear gloves, and tell your child to focus on items such as crisp packets and other wrappers. They should never go near sharp objects, and should they find an area with hypodermic needles, for example, make sure you ring the local council for a safe collection.

Engage In Recycling and Reusing
Many waste products can now be recycled, or removed by a service like dirtcheaprubbishremoval.com.au, as well as your regular refuse service. You will probably already have bins in place at your property for plastic, glass, cans and paper. With your children, sort out the recycling each week, rinsing out any items as necessary. Ask them to put specific items in each of the bins, ensuring they wash their hands afterwards. After eating, any unused food can be used for compost instead of being thrown into the garbage.

However, not every item needs to be discarded. There are many craft ideas you can undertake with your children, so let them see the importance of keeping plastic bottles, for example. They can easily be turned into a rocket ship, or reused to carry water and juice. Glass jars can be maintained to store items such as marbles and game equipment. They can also be painted as garden decorations. If you don’t feel creative in finding a use for something, your child probably has the imagination you are lacking.

Your child may always rely on you for a lift in the car to school. Instead, walk with them to school or if they are old enough, encourage them to walk to school by themselves or with friends. Alternatively, they could ride a bike or catch the bus to school. Many schools and parent groups organize a ‘walking’ school bus, which saves on your fuel and encourages your kids to be social. If you only work a few blocks away, don’t drive by your child and wave. Do your bit, and take a walk yourself! 

Don't Ignore the Indoors
Every day we waste food and energy within our homes. Again, you need to take the responsibility in being a good role model, as your children will be watching you in your habits. Teaching your kids about the value of saving water and then spending thirty minutes in the shower is not going to teach them a good example.

As technology develops, our homes are often stacked with appliances. For your kids, the main items will be the tv, computer and video game consoles. Encourage them to save electricity by turning appliances off when they are not using them and ask your kids to remove smartphones and tablets from power sources when they are fully charged up.

Remind your children to turn off any lights when they leave a room. After a while, this will become a good habit and reduce your household bills. Do your part and buy energy saving light bulbs which will last a lot longer than regular ones and save on energy at the same time.

As your child grows, they will no longer want to play with certain toys and games. They will outgrow their clothes, and advance in their reading ability. As hard as it can be, there will be a time when you need to get rid of some of their belongings. Don’t be harsh if they are not ready to throw something away just yet, but teach your children about the needs of others, and how they may not be as fortunate as them. Charities are always on the lookout for used toys, clothes and books, so with your child deliver them personally and enjoy the reward of making a difference in somebody else’s life.

By taking responsibility, however small, your child will soon see they are making a difference in the world. You will be leaving it in safe hands, so be proud of your example, which will be forever passed down for generations to come.

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