How to Raise Environmentally Conscious Children

By: Sydney Daly-Weber

How to Raise Environmentally Conscious Children

Technology rules the world. From smart phones, to tablets, to video game consoles and everything in between, children are becoming less and less in touch with the world. Remember growing up and running around outside, only knowing it was time to go home because the sun was setting? Those were the good days. Now, parents are lucky if their children even want to play outside rather than being glued to their screens. Sometimes it feels like a huge battle just to get them to look up and appreciate everything that surrounds them. At this point in time, it’s extremely important to teach our children the beauty of the world and how we can help support it. 

Even in this digital age, it’s still possible to raise environmentally and socially conscious children. All it takes is a little bit of effort and a whole lot of love. 

Monkey See, Monkey Do

If you’re raising your children to be environmentally conscious, you’re more than likely already an environmentalist. Don’t underestimate how important this is! Your children absorb everything you do and say. If children see their parents actively recycling plastic and glass, turning off lights when they’re not needed, and treating water like it’s precious, they will follow in your footsteps. You are your kids’ role model- you have to be willing to walk the talk. If you ask your kids to turn off the water while brushing their teeth, but you leave it on when you brush yours, you’re sending a very confusing message. Lead by example.

Make Recycling Rewarding

Start with something easy, like plastic. Children can go around the house and pick up all plastic items that need to be recycled. They can even expand their reach and go around the neighborhood. Then, when you take them to the recycling center, let them keep the money for themselves. They can save up and use it to buy a cool gift. And they’ll know they received that gift for doing a good deed for their community. Soon enough, they’ll understand the concept of caring for the environment and getting something in return. 

Recycling can be both physically and emotionally rewarding. Eventually, you can use this concept with their clothes, books, and toys. Help your kids sort out different piles of these items by age. Then, you can donate them to a local charity. This is especially rewarding during the holidays. When your kids experience the gratitude and excitement from other children and families, they’ll understand how important it is to recycle these items to those less fortunate. It’s truly heartwarming. 

Grow Your Own Garden

Not only is this super fun and allows you to have some quality bonding time with your children, it’s also educational! Growing a garden is a great way to teach your children the benefits of growing your own food. It also teaches them about responsibility. Gather some seeds for fruits, vegetables, and flowers and teach your kids how to plant them, water them, and care for them as they flourish. Even if you don’t have the landscape for a garden, you can use pots on window sills to grow herbs like basil, parsley, and mint. 

Explore Nature

Sure, smart phones and games can be useful when you’re busy and need to keep the kids occupied, but it’s important to make sure their world doesn’t revolve around it. Allow your kids some time to run around outside and get back to nature. Find fun and creative ways to make this educational, as well. While out playing in the sand at the beach, point at any trash you come across and teach your kid the importance of picking it up and throwing it away. Do the same thing while you’re out wandering through a forest on a nice hike. Point out all the little creatures you see and emphasize the significance of taking care of their natural habitat so they can live a happy, healthy life. Once they realize the benefits of nature, they’ll forget all about their gadgets and games. 

Attitude is Everything

Last, but most certainly not least, teach your children to be kind. Be kind to the environment, be kind to others, and be kind to yourself. The more positive their attitude, the more likely they’ll be able to keep their chin up when things get tough. There will be times when it seems like the whole world is against our fight for environmental awareness- it’s your job to teach them to be strong and stand their ground.


Growing Our Own Seed

Want to know how we’re raising our own plant-based little ray of sunshine? Follow our journey  @smallseedbar and @smallseed_og to watch Opal Grace grow up to be a smart, caring, and kick-ass environmentalist!

Holly MacKinnon