Our green mission was actually inspired by our kids and grand kids- we wanted to leave them an earth that is as beautiful as the one that we get a chance to live on. It meant a drastic change in our lifestyle and our perception of the world around us.
However, if we really want "the green way" to thrive, we need to make an effort to instill this mentality and eco-conscious mindset to the next generation. The younger they are exposed to environmentalism, the easier it will be for them to accept ecoliving as "normal" and routine.
Lead By Example
Kids are like sponges. You might not even know it, but they are constantly soaking up all the information you give them. They are the true definition of "monkey see, monkey do", if you can use this example in this context. By making an effort yourself to do things like recycle, reuse containers, clean using natural products, and more, they will copy your actions to be "just like mom and dad!"
Instill an Appreciation of Nature
Provide context to your eco-actions by sharing the beauty of nature with your kids. Through family hikes, camping trips, and encounters with nature, they learn to love and appreciate the outdoors. The more the they love it, the more they will want to respect and protect it, even with simple things like making their own snacks instead of buying wrapped ones or making a bird feeder out of used yogurt containers rather that buying a new one.
Make it Fun
We're lucky to live in a time when eco-values have started trickling into the mind of many, giving us resources that can help with teaching the little ones the green way. From DIY aquaponic sets that show that sustainable farming systems can exist, to fun toys and books like the Good Fairie Dolls, environmentalism doesn't have to be a chore - it can be a family bonding feature.
Present it as a Special Mission
Mission "Green way" can be one that your kids learn to love. Present your ecolifestyle as a earth-saving mission (which it literally is!). Challenge your kids with monthly goals and award bonus prizes when they covertly get their friends to join in on this eco-adventure! Your kids will love the fact that they are part of something greater than them, something so important and life-changing!
Make it Easy to be Green
If being green means that the kids need to put in a greater effort, it going to be difficult to convince them to do it. It will just seem like an additional chore they have to do. See if you can adjust anything to make it simpler to be eco, from conveniently placing little recycle bins in every room to subbing cleaning products with natural ones that are used the same way or even require less effort.
Give them a Leadership Role
Once your children hit a certain age, allow them to be leaders in your home's eco mission. Ask them to come up with new ideas and help bring them to fruition. Get them involved in choosing your household cleaning and laundry products, as well as choosing which all-natural toothpaste they prefer. This will give them ownership and shape them into eco-leaders within their friends and later colleagues. We love seeing kids shopping with their parents at our stores, giving input on their preferences and the selection.
Do you have any more ideas about how to make our little ones eco-advocates in today's world? Leave your thoughts in the comments!