Children are the future generation; they are the future leaders and citizens of our planet. It is therefore vital that they develop an appreciation for the planet and a desire to protect it.
It is up to us, as adults, to pass on our knowledge and sense of importance so that our children can continue to sustain a safe planet on which to live. We need to give our children a deep rooted understanding, by teaching them from an early age, that being eco-friendly is not a chore but a duty.
The first step in helping your child to become environmentally friendly is to be environmentally friendly yourself. Children learn from example and observation.
In modern society, there is a danger that kids are becoming less aware of the environment around them as they spend more time inside due to the immense pull from the latest video games and television programmes. This can mean that children see less relevance in being green and need more teaching about the environment.
As with any other teaching it is important that you don’t just tell your children what to do (“turn the lights off when you leave the room”) but instead you explain why there is a need to do this and then lead by example.
We can't expect our children to be green if we aren't and the benefit of teaching by example is that everyone who practices eco-friendly living is contributing to the sustainability of our environment.
To help your child understand and respect nature and the environment, it is good to introduce him or her to outdoor activities: getting messy, look at new things and learning new skills through fun. These activities could be anything from walks in the park with your toddler, days out to the seaside or woods, making 'natural' works of art or activities for kids like sailing, farms, petting zoos and orienteering.
There are also many ideas of simple eco-friendly activities on the website links to the right.
HRH Prince Philip
If you are interested in becoming more environmentally friendly as a family, here are some useful websites and articles for you and your children:
An interesting article in the Guardian about children’s interests in the environment and how we can be environmentally friendly.
10 easy at home tips on how to be eco friendly with your children.
Eco Friendly Kids gives lots of advice and activities and teaches the importance of looking after our environment with interesting facts and fun games.
Being Environmentally Friendly is made for children so the language is very easy to read and understand. Your child can click on an area they are interested in and find out more about what they can do to help.