The quote on the back of my Seventh Generation dish soap inspired the idea for this week’s post. It says,
“In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.” – From the Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy
When I think about teaching green, I naturally think of my boys and what I can do to raise them to be environmentally aware. Below are a few ideas to help nurture a respect for nature and a sense of responsibility for their environment.
1. Get Them Involved: Recycling, composting and gardening are three easy tasks that kids can actively participate in and even take responsibility for (depending on their age) that will help instill an Earth friendly mind-set and open up the door for conversations about caring for environment. Even the youngest in the family can help sort paper and plastic in the recycling bin or gather tomatoes from the garden. As you’re going about these tasks, talk to your kids about why they’re important. Ask them what they think and if they have any other ideas for reducing waste at home.
2. Enjoy Nature – There’s no better way to instill a respect for nature in a child than to let them experience the joy and beauty of it. Go for walks or hikes exploring your neighborhood, local parks or hiking trails. Create a scavenger hunt list of items you might expect to find in your local environment. Flowers, animals, even weeds can all be on the list. Bring along a camera and take photos of the items or purchase and inexpensive notebook and some crayons and let your kids build a nature journal. Each of our boys has a small back pack filled with a blank notebook, colored pencils, glue stick and magnifying glass. They take these on our nature walks or trips to the park and frequently draw photos of things they see or gather leaves and other items to glue in their notebooks and identify later.
3. Read – There are tons of great books that teach kids the importance of everything from recycling to water conservation. We have several that we love to read, but I’ve found that the boys favorites are the books that teach them about animals and their natural habitats. These have nurtured a love of animals that is starting to transition to a natural desire to care for the environment they call home. I’ve created a list of some of the boys favorite books below.
What would you add to this list? Do you have a favorite tip or book for teaching kids to be green?
This is the last week of the Growing Green series. Check back on Wednesday for a guest post on greening your fitness routine and don’t forget to visit The Frugal Seed, I Dream of Clean and Laurel of Leaves for tips on TEACHING green.