JUNE 12, 2014 BY 

Seven Ways to Teach Children about Sustainability and Why it is Important
by guest blogger Ashley Hardway

Although the movement for sustainability throughout the world has gained a great deal of attention since 2005, forward momentum needs to be addressed for children. As each generation replaces the other in politics and corporate management, it will be the children that keep the continuous pace. By teaching your children the importance of sustainability, you can help ensure that the future continues on the right track.

Although there is opposition from various politicians and Wall Street professionals, new blood in the system is where most of the changes may be developed from. What can you do to teach children the importance of “greener” living?

1. Water Filtration – By using plastic jugs, you can demonstrate how plants filter the water we drink and why it’s important to promote plant life. Set up different jugs of dirt one of which containing a great deal of grass. When the water drains, you can see the difference in clarity from the jug containing grass compared to simple dirt.

2. Recycling Bins – Set up various bins for recycling. Teach the children how merely throwing goods in the trash can sit in landfills for decades if not longer. Paper, glass, plastics, aluminum and even electronic devices can all be recycled to be turned into something else.

3. Nature Hikes – Plan regular nature hikes and allow your family to appreciate the beauty of the planet outside of city streets and sky scrapers. Teach your children how nature keeps us alive and the symbiotic relationship humans have with plants and animals. It is possible to coexist and benefit from the various life forms of Earth.

4. Construction Kits – There are many kits you can buy that will teach children about solar and wind power. These kits are low voltage and are harmless to utilize. Using the power of wind or sunlight, children can build things from a radio to an alarm clock.

5. Recycled Art – Show your children just how easy it is to create art from simple trash. You can build items such as clocks and other wall-mounted arts and crafts from a variety of refuse. One notable piece of artwork is the clock made from a sprocket of an old bike. Recreate a painting by da Vinci by using colored pieces of plastic jugs, paper and other items.

6. Growing Snacks – Set up an herb garden that children can use to plant and grow their own snacks. In fact, many children have no problem eating various vegetables that they have grown themselves. Teach the children how important it is that humans learn to grow their own foods instead of relying on pesticide-covered corporate farmlands.

7. Planned Power Outage – Turn the power off in your home for a day or two. This can demonstrate to the children just how much humans rely on electricity. Plan activities that don’t involve power such as playing games outside. If you’re worried about food spoiling in the fridge, just leave that particular breaker on.

Although some teachers are incorporating sustainability with the classroom, you need to do your part as parents to ensure this generation is capable of continuing the improvements into sustainable living. With the technology that is available, there should be no reason why future generations have to suffer as those of the past.

Always curious, Ashley Hardway is constantly learning and passionate about sharing what she learns with others. Based in the Houston, Texas office of Morningside Nannies, she loves to help families grow stronger, help their environments and communities, and keep moving forward! Check out @NannyLady on Twitter to connect and find out more.