Enviro Monday: 7 ways to teach your kids respect for the environment

Helping the environment need not involve the expense of installing solar panels or a huge rainwater cistern.

Start by being aware of how much waste you generate, how much water you use and how you can save electricity.

Different ways to save water

Don’t keep the tap running while you brush your teeth or when you’re done rinsing fruit or vegetables. A fun activity for the whole family is teaching kids about water wise gardening by selecting indigenous plants that don’t require a lot of water.

Teach them to grow their own food

Start a vegetable garden – cauliflower, lettuce, tomatoes, spring onions, garlic, micro greens, spinach and herbs are easy to grow. They taste better and should be pesticide free.

Avoid plastic bags in lunchboxes

Use recyclable containers when packing lunchboxes and use pretty cloth serviettes or muslin cloth instead of paper serviettes.

Teach them how to recycle

Establish recycle bins to separate paper, plastic, glass, cans, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and organic waste. Even better – where possible, start buying products that are made from recycled materials. Wash glass jars and reuse them. Make your own compost with apple cores, banana peels and nature’s other wrappers. Use the compost to fertilise your vegetable garden.

Switch it off

Turn off the light or any electrical appliance when you leave a room.

Close the door

Keep outside doors closed in winter to retain warmth and in summer to keep out the heat.

Experiences are better than toys

Instead of giving toys that everyone else has and that will promote consumerism, take them camping, hiking or to the botanical gardens. Get them interested in bird watching. These experiences will shape their characters and they will remember them for the rest of their lives.

 

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