Every parent wants the best for their children. It is even projected that without action, there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans by 2050.
While every parent’s effort will benefit their child and the next generation as a whole, it would be futile if green living is not passed on.
In a generation that is extremely used to living their lives with disposables and plastics, incorporating sustainability in their lives as young as they are is necessary to ensure a better world for them.
Why Should You Start Them Young?
Below are some reasons why you should start your child’s sustainability journey now:
- Kids are Sponges.
From birth to around six years old, a young child’s brain absorbs a tremendous amount of information from the environment—effortlessly. In fact, these learning years are so important because what they learn from their formative years becomes their foundation.
- It’s the Best Time to Build Integrity.
Ever experienced being told off by your child for doing something wrong? No wonder judges—
And people in general—find that young kids are more honest than adults.
Make use of this and help build integrity in your child’s life. Learning how to have accountability for the environment at a young age benefits the environment and helps your child grow in character.
- Kids Become Less Self-Centered.
Every human is naturally self-centered. The first thing every child learns is “no” and “mine.”
Teaching them that life is not centered around their comfort—basically why people use plastics, to begin with—teaches them responsibility and shifts their focus towards others’ good and the environment’s.
- It’s the Best Time to Create Good Habits.
From toilet-training to other helpful habits, many of what we do now root from our childhood. As young as they are, make them used to reusing items. It may be as simple as using their cousin’s old clothes to enjoying garage sales to becoming more conscious of their grocery choices. Chances are, they’ll carry these habits up to adulthood.
Simple Sustainable Parenting Tips You Can Start Doing
What is the best way to teach sustainability in children? Just be consistent in your sustainable practice at home, in your childcare, in maintaining your home, and in every decision-making you do. Soon enough, your child could catch on and grow up with eco-friendly living as their “normal.”
Here are some things that you could do:
- Use Second-Hand Clothes
If they have older siblings or cousins, opt to use their secondhand clothes or buy secondhand ones from thrift shops. You’d be surprised at how you can find almost brand-new ones. If this is your first child, you may donate their clothes or choose to keep them for baby#2!
- Switch Disposable Wipes with Reusable Ones
Okay, don’t feel disgusted just yet. Of course, there will be times that you need to use wipes a single time that reusing them, but these occasions should be an exception rather than the norm.
For more delicate areas like the face, like wiping food mess from their cheeks, opt for reusable items such as sustainable cotton tissue, organic cotton handkerchiefs, napkins, and more.
- Make Their Snacks Yourself Instead of Buying Pre-packed Ones
This would entail time. It’s understandable for parents who don’t have the time to prepare to just opt for ready ones available in the grocery. But for those who do have some time to spare and consciously want to shift to green living, preparing food, even as simple as cutting apples and bananas, would cause you to skip a lot of small plastic packages.
If it’s not possible for you, you can also look for sustainable food brands that could be recycled or buy snacks in huge bulks, especially if your little one is a voracious snacker.
- Switch to Cloth Diapers
One study reported that disposable diapers account for 7% of household wastes in landfills. Sure, it’s a lot easier to pop disposable ones than take time in removing the poo stain on cloth diapers.
But not only is this switch better for our oceans, it’s also good for your baby. Using cloth diapers allows them to sense wetness, making it easier for them to be toilet-trained than when using very absorbent diapers, making them unaware of the wetness for hours. Worse, it may even lead to a urinary tract infection (UTI).
Starting children young in their sustainability journey will have a considerable impact not only on the environment but even on their character. Also, starting early is a lot easier than teaching them when they’re already used to a plastic-filled lifestyle.
As a parent, doing even a simple lifestyle switch will have a lasting impact on how your child will live and view the world.