A parent is a lifetime guide for his children and there is so much to teach them while they are young.

As a mother of two, I want my kids to strive in school, but also to have time to pursue their passions; I want them to be open-minded, but responsible adults.

I try to plant the seeds of good habits, hoping they will grow strong.

While children will discover at school how the ecosystems work, you can start early to develop an ecological sense in them. And for those of you who wonder how to do that, I have some ideas and suggestions to share:

Embrace the outdoors

Nowadays, children have a lot of entertainment indoors, playing with numerous games and gadgets, so you have to teach them to love nature. Try to include in your schedule everyday outdoor time, ranging from daily walks in the park to weekend trips to the mountains or the seaside.

On a regular basis, have a riverside picnic, play ball, ride bikes, but also encourage them to explore with age-appropriate activities. Collect stones, cones and leaves and make them aware of the movement of the clouds and the wind or the flow of water. You can use these to explain to them the cycles of nature.

Engage in practical activities

There is no better lesson about the wonders of nature than watching a seed sprout or a scion grow. Their joy and surprise at the changing and growing of plants will warm your heart.

You do not need a garden to experiment with growing flowers and vegetables, a few pots are enough to show your kids how it works. This is a good opportunity to teach them about the sources of food and how to choose what they eat.

They will surely understand easier the principles of a healthy diet. You can also arrange visits to the botanical garden, and a local market to approach these lessons. What is more, you can take part in planting sessions every spring our autumn in a park or a local farm.

Spend time with animals

Caring for a pet is an important step in the development of every child. A mouse, a guinea pig or a bird will have a lower impact in your home than a dog or a cat and even feeding the fish can help your kids become more responsible and caring.

However, if a pet does not suit your current lifestyle, make sure your kids will meet animals somewhere else. You can volunteer together at a shelter or spend some time at a nearby farm, where children can feed animals and see how they are groomed.

Everyday indoor lessons

No matter how much you talk to your kids, what they see you do is more important. Visual information is essential, so try to include natural elements in your home and make it as earth-friendly as possible.

Also, instead of telling how to protect the environment, show them. Turn the lights off when you leave a room, do not let the water run while you brush your teeth. Exercise or jog together in the morning and reduce the amount of your screen time before you do that to your kids. Avoid heavy shopping during sales and do not waste food. If they see you act earth-conscious, they will certainly adopt some of your behavior without you even telling them how to act.

Reduce, reuse, recycle

If you want to teach sustainability, you have to follow these three principles.

In order to reduce consumption, shop together for household multipurpose items and debate the urgency of purchasing desired objects by each family member. Try to reuse old items by giving them another purpose, like filling pillows with used fabrics or planting flowers in plastic bottles.

The last step is to recycle the items that can no longer be used. Pay attention to details; not only plastic and paper can be recycled, but also items as empty printer cartridges. Assign every family member with a recycling task. A kid person can sort the plastic, mom can gather discarded clothes and dad can take care of transport.

Among the many things I want to pass on to my kids is taking good care of mother nature, appreciating its beauty and acknowledging its importance. I try to show them that the small decisions we make every day can have a great impact on the environment and they know by now that not only our home is our house, but the planet itself.

Have you shown your kids how to recycle? Share with us below.

  • My son is a good little recycler and is aware of nature and the environment.


  • I would consider myself a good recycler.


  • Until they changed the plastic that shopping bags were made of we used to use the same shopping bags every week until eventually they got holes in them. Often we used them for several months. How we know that is becuase we changed supermarkets but we still using the same bags. I also made some fabric bags. Then we used them to put the weekly rubbish in so it didn’t blow everywhere when the bins were emptied by the council, and blow everywhere in the dump and land in a river or the sea. Now you are lucky if they reach home before they get home. Travelling by public transport or council bus we have to have our groceries in bags. I now mainly use cooler bags which have my name written on them because one of the other passengers on the council bus has identical ones. When we had a garden we had two compost heaps that the leaves from some vegetables and other plants + vegetable peels and lawn clippings went into and was later added back into the garden. We only bought containers that could be used for many years. I bought some new lunch boxes shortly after I started work. I worked for 40 years by which time the lids started to split.


  • I am so bad at outdoor activities. We’re good at recycling, though.


  • We do lots for the earth here. We grow lots of food, he knows all about whats rubbish and whats recycling, we get out heaps and go for walks. Its heaps of fun too.


  • I love recycling and we do it regularly. After watching the program “War on Waste” I’m realizing though that I could have done so much more, in particular about soft plastic. So that’s the new challenge we are having. I printed a list of soft plastic and I instructed the all family about it.


  • I love this article! To engage children with animals is teaching them responsibility and empathy. All children should spend time with animals especially children who suffer autism it tends to have a real calming effect. Yes more outdoor activities is need for children. Let them soak in the sun and breath fresh air, climb a tree, build a go kart. It is all about preparing them for the World when they grow up but also to keep them grounded in a hectic world that we now live in.


  • Do try to recycle – but am never sure I’m doing it ‘right’… regards washing and sorting etc. Recently I found their eyes are better than mine and they spotted the recycle symbol on a plastic packet that I’d always sent to landfill! I’m seeing them more and more now too!


  • We live a very earth friendly life and reuse and recycle. We also share items and giveaway items we no longer need or use. We also make the best use of all our green spaces.

    • We are careful with our consumption of resources too.


  • Great suggestions.
    Yes, we show our kids how to recycle and talk about the effects we have an the planet.


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