Here’s some super simple ideas for you to try:
There is more and more discussion lately on the impact of climate change on our environment. And, like many parents, I am feeling worried about what the future holds for my kids.
As parents, it helps to remember that we hold the greatest power to create positive change through how we support and raise our children.
We have the opportunity to nurture and create the next generation to love, respect and protect our environment with our everyday actions.
That being said, there’s no need to feel you have to go completely natural to make an impact, or that you have to do it all!
Making eco-friendly choices doesn’t have to be overwhelming! It’s often the simplest of things that can install a great love and respect for the beautiful world we live in.
So, with this in mind, I have looked into some easy actions to help us support and sustain a future of eco-kids that are so simple that they become second nature!
1. Explore the great outdoors!
Stuck for what to do with your little ones? Rain or shine, being outside never fails for a fun and adventurous outing for the family. There’s also nothing more powerful than getting out and about to create a love of nature.
There’s so many things you can explore, whether it be at your local playground or going to the beach or the bush. It sparks such wonderful curiosity and no doubt lots of questions – such as why aren’t the seagulls waving back at me – which I had recently!
2. Pick up some rubbish
You don’t need to go on a huge rubbish clean-up crusade to make an impact here.
We simply pick up whatever rubbish we find at the beach, park, bush or wherever we go and put it in the bin. It’s that simple!
You’ll find that it’s an easy way to spark a conversation about caring for the environment that won’t overwhelm your kids. It also gives them some clear actions that they can practise straight away.
3. Get grubby
I love getting out in the garden, especially with my kids. They might not be the most helpful gardening companions, but they do love getting involved. They especially love eating whatever we grow – its amazing how much they love their greens straight from the garden – but not so much on their plate!
Your kids can learn how to care for plants and watch them grow and reward them for their care. It’s also a great way for them to observe the changes of seasons and wonders that each of them hold.
Another great thing about being in the garden is the creepy crawlies! Ok – I hear you – they are not exactly my favourite thing either, but the kids do love them! Plus, it’s a great way to create an appreciation of all creatures (not just the cute and cuddly kind) and their role in helping to create a healthy eco-system.
4. Sharing is caring
Lately, I find my kids expect new things more and more. With the rate that they outgrow or lose interest in their clothes and toys, it gets hard to cut the influx of plastic and waste that goes with it. This is where secondhand and sharing come in!
Why not try going to the local library or toy library can help your children to learn about borrowing and sharing over owning can be a great lesson about reducing waste.
It’s not only cheaper than buying new, but it reduces waste and cuts the carbon and resources required to produce new items. With more and more people realising the benefits of secondhand, we are seeing lots of quality items becoming available every day (yay!)
You can get easily get started by checking out the amazing baby, kids and maternity items available at Jumping Jack. You can also sell your outgrown good quality items to give them a new life with another family!
5. Let them help to sort your scraps
Don’t panic, this is not as tricky (or icky) as you might first think!
Taking the time to separate your waste can have such a big impact on little minds. Not only does it help us to lead by example as parents, but it also gives the kids a chance to participate and learn about where things come from, and where they end up.
On a quest to reduce our waste as a family, we separate our recycling, soft plastics, food waste and landfill. For something that doesn’t involve that much time and effort, it had a huge impact on our volume of waste and has already fostered a curiosity with my kids about recycling and waste.
6. Pack a litterless lunch!
This doesn’t have to involve making your own beeswax wraps or wrapping sandwiches in spinach leaves!
It can be as simple as using a lunchbox with different compartments so that you can skip the glad wrap. It also gives you the chance to shop for items in bulk as you won’t need individually wrapped snacks.
7. Read a book
Stories are a great way to get important messages across in a way that children can understand and relate to. Why not head to the library and collect some books with topics of the environment, compassion and taking positive action.
8. Go to a museum
Creating an interest in science and helping them learn about different topics in a tangible way can be a great way for them to foster a love and respect for the environment.
There are often amazing exhibits on different animals and the environment that the kids can immerse themselves in. It’s a great family outing too!
Choosing to reuse is a simple and great way to make a difference!
It can be as simple as bringing your own coffee cups, shopping bags and water bottles with you wherever you go.
You could also consider trying out reusable nappies and wipes if this is something that interests you.
10. Do it your way!
I am the first to admit that when it comes to parenting and living an eco-friendly lifestyle, I am often in conflict!
There is often so much pressure to be the perfect parent right from the moment your bub comes into the world. There’s so many views on how to birth, feed, educate and raise your children that adding another layer of responsibility into the mix can be overwhelming.
That’s why it’s so important to find a way that works for you. It doesn’t need to be a big change to make a big difference. Simply find something that you can do and start from there.
However noble – plans of vowing to switch to a full plant-based diet, eaten from stainless steel containers, whilst biking your kids to school – is simply not possible for everyone! You might do one or two of these things or even decide that it’s too much for you to take on right now, and that’s ok too!
Wherever you are at, it’s ok to start small and know that there will be bumps along the way. Just remember the smallest of things can make a world of difference in the end!
Do you have any tips on how to be an eco-friendly family? We are always on the lookout for handy hints, so please feel free to share below!