Future-proofing families: encouraging your children to be eco-aware

We’re now more aware than ever of the need to look after the environment. That's why it's essential to help the little ones in our lives get into good environmental habits and teach them the importance of taking care of our planet.

Here we explore how you can help your children to become more eco-conscious and play their part in safeguarding what will be their home for years to come.

Form good habits

As with any other routine you want your children to get into, it helps if the whole household gets involved. Set good examples as a family, and your children are sure to follow suit.

Whether it's making a point of switching off the lights when you leave a room, or taking care not to leave taps running unnecessarily, children learn best when following your lead.

You can even make switching off part of the play routine. For example, if you've finished playing together with a toy, make putting it away and switching it off (whether that's a battery-powered toy, or something that's plugged in) part of the game.

Explain why

Once your children are old enough, explaining to them why it's important to recycle and reduce waste can go a long way in helping them to understand its necessity.

You can incorporate learning about the environment into your everyday activities, such as during story time. There's a great range of books available, helping children to understand the wider impact their actions can have on anything from the ocean to wildlife.

Make it fun

Involve your little ones in fun, energy-saving activities around the home, and they're sure to enjoy doing their bit to save the planet. One great way to get the children interested is to do some fun energy-related activities together. How about creating a competition to see how many appliances they can find left on standby to turn off, or finding fun and creative ways to keep out the draft instead of turning your heating up?

Eco Friendly Kids has plenty of ideas to start with, such as doing your own energy survey.

Find new ways to recycle

One way to help your child recycle is to take a look at their clothes and belongings. If they no longer fit or they don't play with them anymore, talk about how they can pass them along to someone else who'd really like them. Once they start to understand how an item can be used and enjoyed time and time again, they're likely to want to find a new purpose for more items around the home too.

Younger ones may also enjoy the sorting side of recycling. By helping to put certain plastics or containers into separate compartments, they get to have fun organising while you save yourself a job!

Get outdoors

There’s a major opportunity to teach your children about the environment when travelling. Encouraging your children to walk, cycle or use public transport where possible is a good habit to get into, as well as a great way to keep them active.

This kind of activity is great for sharing with other friends and families to. For example, sharing cars on the school run, or even walking as a group instead.

To see if you could be saving money on your gas and electricity bills, take a look at the energy section of our site.