Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Day Forty-Two - Teach Your Children Well

Teaching The Kids About The Environment

I'm not sure how America, in the short timespan of one or two generations, got so disconnected with the environment. I do, however, think that this disconnection from nature plays a large role in how people treat the earth. If you don't see the planet as that which sustains us, providing air, food and water -- everything we need to live -- why would you care about it's health? If you fail to see the interconnectivity between all living species, why would you be concerned about their disappearance? I'm starting to feel that perhaps too much focus is spent on acheiving academic and financial success, rather than on good stewardship.

To help tip the scales, I've decided to start involving my kids in all the aspects of my green goals. The fun stuff, the boring stuff, the interesting things and the yucky parts. These are some of the things I've done recently:

  • Take my kids camping - get them back to nature and let them discover the wonder of fireflies, bats and s'mores
  • Take my kids to animal sanctuaries - show them various species and explain why we need to protect their habitats
  • Have them help with recyclables - explain what is recyclable, why we should recycle and what happens to our recyclables (I even bribed the recycle truck guy with a cold soda so he'd let Ethan see the inside of the truck -- nothing excites a young boy more than a big truck that squishes stuff)
  • Take my kids on nature walks - we go on the trails and look for pinecones, different leaves, rocks, etc.
  • Have my kids plant stuff - we've planted lots of flowers this year and they're learning that plants need dirt, nutrients, water and sunshine to grow
  • Pick up Trash - The kids and I do this one everytime we hit the playground or park
  • Trip to the Berry Farm - We went and picked our own berries and the kids got to learn about how food is grown

In addition to these "fun" things, I also do the mundane things like holler "shut off the tv when you leave the room!", "turn the water off, you're wasting it!" and "for goodness sake, you don't need to use the whole roll!". All valuable lessons that I learned from my parents and am now handing down to my little ones ;-)

Upcoming events I plan on doing with the kids include:

  • A trip to the local composting site
  • A trip to the recycling place
  • A county sponsored program for 2 year-olds called "Goose or Duck?"
  • A county sponsored program for 4 year-olds called "Who Lives Underground?"
  • Grow our own vegetables
  • Start our own worm bin

I'd love to hear about stuff you do with your kids to help them learn about how to "tread lightly".


This one isn't so much about measuring savings as it is spending time with the kids you love and showing them the wonder and beauty of the world around them -- and how to take care of it. Hopefully my passion about the environment will rub off on them and they will be better caretakers because of it.

Difficulty Level: 0 out of 5

Are you kidding? This is child's play!

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