Big thanks to Tim from Backyard Boss for providing these fantastic tips on how parents can engage their children in carbon footprint reduction. If you’d like to read more from Backyard Boss, you can do so here.
It’s all over the news and it’s all over social media – the world is in the midst of a climate crisis. While some may believe that is a hoax and that the situation isn’t as dire as it’s reported to be; there is still a need for all members of the planet to start practicing sustainability. We need to
think of the future generations of the population and start working together on ways to reduce carbon footprints; both as a whole and individually. It isn’t too late to start living a greener lifestyle and it is definitely not too late to start bringing our children into it as well.
Our children are the ones who will inherit the Earth and all of her glory from us; so it is important that they start learning at a young age the benefit of living a sustainable lifestyle. Granted, some may be too young to truly understand why it is so important to live a green lifestyle that reduces their carbon footprint, but they know to look to adults for guidance. This is how we teach them to love and appreciate the earth by reducing waste.
So what are some ways or things we can do as adults, as children, as a society and as a whole in terms of the population to reduce our carbon footprints? Let’s take a look!
Sustainable Water Usage
Teach your children how to conserve water and use water resources carefully. Don’t let them run the tap while brushing their teeth or washing the dishes but instead show them how they can use lower amounts by turning the tap off during scrubbing times.
Use a sturdy water barrel to collect rainfall and allow it to filter through a screen to avoid contamination. Rainfall can be collected through a freestanding barrel or from the runoff from your household gutters. Gutter guards can also help filter the water by capturing dirt and debris, so you might want to consider installing some – check out Backyard Boss for the best ones.
After this water is truly filtered, show your kids how to water the garden with it, allow them to help wash the car and fill buckets for rinsing from the barrel and if it’s clean enough; allow them to fill their kiddie pool with this recycled rainfall to teach sustainability and lower carbon footprints through fun!
Solar energy is rapidly becoming the way of the future in terms of solar panels and windmills. This solar energy can light homes solely through the power of the sun and it doesn’t draw on a nonrenewable resource to do so.
You can place solar lights around the driveway and pathways of your home to reduce the strain on your electricity as it can eliminate the need for blinding patio lights. Enlist your children to help place the solar lights into position and offer them their pick of the best ones to be placed outside their window. Any children would love to look out their bedroom window and see the softly twinkling “fairy” lights that are solar powered.
Use this as a lesson on energy and how you can conserve it rather than waste it. Use a lower number of lights in the evenings, set the temperature at a steady but conservative rate to reduce the need of furnaces in the home and unplug any appliances that are not in use. Make this one of your children’s chores in the evening time (with supervision of course until they are older) and trust them with the task of unplugging gaming consoles, charging cords and whatnot.
Gardening for Produce and Greenery
One of the easiest ways to introduce children to a sustainable lifestyle that will reduce their carbon footprint along with your own is to teach them the skill, art and hobby of gardening. Gardening is a wonderful hobby with many positive physical and mental health benefits that reduce stress and tension in the body and soul. Gardening encourages people to get outside, soak up the benefits of nature and engage in physical activity without it feeling like a workout.
You can grow and harvest your own fresh produce right at home if you are determined enough and willing to take the time to maintain the garden beds. You can have a steady supply of fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs for your supper table. Teach your children the art of gardening, allowing them to cultivate their own small plot to grow whatever they desire. Not only will this love of gardening follow them through life, they will learn lessons regarding responsibility and sustainability.
Plant a tree break around your home with your children’s help and explain to them how trees take carbon dioxide from the air to transform it into oxygen. This oxygen will strengthen the ozone layer and repair the damage humans have done to it over the years.
You don’t need to drastically overhaul your entire lifestyle to live a greener one or change everything about yourself to preach sustainability but instead, as talked about today; small, simple changes can make a big difference.
By instilling these values into the younger generation; we are leaving the Earth in their capable and willing hands. Notable climate activists are getting younger and younger each year, so it is to be accepted and understood that they will help the even younger children learn to live a sustainable lifestyle.
With a bit of effort and changes from each member of the population that calls Earth home, the changes could be breathtaking.
Tim Moore is the lead editor of Backyard Boss and is a lifelong backyard enthusiast. He grew up immersed in the outdoors, camping every weekend and tending to the backyard with his family. Follow Tim and Backyard Boss on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram for everyday inspiration for your backyard.