Phil on teaching our kids

March 09, 2015

Phil on teaching our kids

World leaders are now positioning themselves for (hopefully) meaningful action on climate change at the UNCCC in Paris at the end of next year.

Our kids will be the beneficiaries of these decisions and also the ones who will be the main saviours or polluters over the next century.

So how do we guide our children to help ensure our planet's sustainability for future generations?

Kids love to mimic their parents (when they’re young at least) and setting good habits in place will last a lifetime.

Phillip Squire, Sustainability’s Trust’s CE, with four young children, has the following tips for starting your own kids on the road to a more sustainable lifestyle:

  • Walk the talk at home – set an example yourself. Use sustainable practices e.g. recycling, using less water & power, composting, growing your own vegetables, natural cleaning products, taking eco bags to the supermarket, using alternative transport eg bikes (where possible)
  • Teach your children to minimise waste by avoiding single use products e.g. handitowels, buying second-hand when you can. Encourage them to donate surplus toys and outgrown clothing. Every activity is a teaching opportunity eg repurposing egg cartons for seedlings in the garden.
  • Use words and games to reinforce the actions
  • Get your children involved in whatever you’re doing – recycling, composting, gardening etc
  • Be active outdoors. Teach them to ride a bike at an early age. Go hiking and explore nature in our forest parks,
  • Encourage your school to get involved in sustainability education. Over 950 early childhood education centres and schools in New Zealand follow the Enviro Schools Programme which teaches children how to live sustainably. Talk to the Trust about our workshops and waste audits for schools.
  • Volunteer/help with environment projects at school and other community organisations.
  • Have a long hard think before you jump on a plane for the next family vacation – try holidaying around home instead.
Before you know it your kids will be reminding you to turn off the lights and take the bike to work.



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