How to Be a Sustainable Parent

One thing that every parent learns is that their littles ones are always watching. Everything you do sets an example and shapes the way your kids behave. This is certainly a daunting responsibility, but it can also be a tremendous opportunity. For example, you can instill in your children a desire for environmental responsibility, simply by modeling some basic, eco-friendly habits.

Modeling Sustainability for Your Children

Consider just a few examples of small tweaks to your day-to-day life that can ultimately have a big impact on your children’s eco-awareness.

1) Incorporate sustainability into your meal planning.

It’s no small feat, finding meals that the whole family will enjoy. Still, it’s important to strive for sustainable habits, even in your meal planning. For example, emphasize for your children the importance of eating lots of vegetables, shopping for local and seasonal produce, and keeping portions small enough to minimize food waste.

2) Turn off the lights when you leave the room.

Here’s a really simple way to teach your kids about sustainability: Always turn off the lights when you exit a room and instruct them to do likewise. This can be a valuable opportunity to talk with them about the importance of energy efficiency (and to cut your utility costs).

3) Be a smart shopper.

Another way to model sustainability (and save a few bucks) is to be cautious about impulse buys, or about automatically adding items to your Amazon cart. Instead, try to shop more mindfully, hitting thrift stores whenever you can, or even reusing some of the items currently in your house.

4) Go for a walk.

If you live close enough to take a family walk to the park, the YMCA, school, or the store, do so! Encourage your kids to ditch the car whenever possible.

5) Shorten showers.

Even cutting shower times from 15 minutes to 10 minutes can have a huge impact in terms of water conservation. And again, this can be a great way to strike up a conversation with your kids about the importance of resource stewardship.

6) Be a family that recycles.

Set up a recycling bin somewhere all of your family members can access it and provide your little ones with clarity about what can and cannot be recycled. Model for them sound, responsible recycling habits whenever you can!

7) Reuse items whenever you can.

Finally, try to develop a rhythm of reusing items whenever possible. For example, a one-sided page of school work can be saved as scratch paper for doodles or coloring. Try to show your children that not everything has to be discarded after a single use.

Show Your Kids How to Advocate for the Environment

Everyone can play a part in environmental conservation, including your children. Show them how, starting with simple lifestyle changes. And keep up with the WasteXperts blog for more tips on living in an eco-friendly way.

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