Most kids will grasp that preserving and protecting the natural world is important without too much fuss. Kids tend to care instinctively about birds, bugs and pets so it’s simple to make them care about the environment as a whole. The difficult part is making your little ones understand the connection between leaving the fridge open and protecting the polar bears or leaving the lights on when they leave a room and the plight of the rainforest.
As responsible parents it is important that we teach our children the value of conserving, recycling and reusing to reduce the damage we cause to the natural environment.
A good way to start instilling these values is to teach kids to not waste power. Wasting power by leaving on lights or keeping your air conditioning blasting not only wastes money on high bills but also increases your home’s carbon footprint. While your average kid may not grasp a big power bill they understand a carbon footprint.
Try explaining to your kids how generating power damages the environment. There are plenty of books, online clips and documentaries that can help you make the connection clear to your family. Once you have done this, grab some butcher’s paper and draw a giant footprint. Explain to your kids that every time they waste power, the footprint gets bigger. Concurrently, every time they save power, the foot gets a little bit smaller.
Not only is a great visual way of making the point and it turns saving power into a big game. As your kids get older they can help you pick out energy efficient appliances, install energy saving light bulbs, help you find a green energy plan for your power needs and research the benefits of solar panels. Getting your kids to care and understand while they are young will allow them to grow into responsible consumers as adults.
The fridge footprint plan is a good way to get your kids to care about the environment by making them understand the consequences of their actions. It is simple enough for even the smallest or most distracted as well as flexible enough to engage older kids. With any luck by the time they inevitably feel a giant foot on the fridge is uncool they will have absorbed your lessons.
Christopher Conrad, a freelance writer, has written many articles for Synergy, an Australian energy provider.
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