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Teaching Our Children the Importance of Sustainability


Although Earth Day recently passed on April 22nd, it really should be Earth Day each and every day.  Our actions daily affect the future of the earth and the quality of life we live.  As a mother of four children, I want my children to understand that the decisions we make each and every day have an impact.  That even our little actions can have big impacts.  So I try to use every day moments, moments we are together, moments we are doing every day things to teach them.

My eight year old is in charge of our recycling; he loves it!  He says he is going to be a recycling man when he grows up.  Not the typical occupation choice of an average eight year old but my guy is so not typical.  He understands that reusing and recycling helps the earth and wants to do his part.  But there are so many simple things we can do to teach our children about sustainability.  Below are some fun ideas to teach your children about why sustainability is important and how we can play our part.

eco boys and girls austin with seeds

Activities To-Do

  1. Plant a tree.
  2. Take an outdoor scavenger hunt and have your children search for nature items.
  3. Unplug for the day and spend the day outdoors!
  4. Separate your garbage into two containers, one for recycling and one for trash.
  5. Take a walk and collect all the garbage along the way.
  6. Plant a vegetable garden (have the kids pick a few veggies they want to grow themselves!)
  7. Pick a number and find that many items in your house to donate to a local shelter or thrift store.
  8. Visit an animal sanctuary or local wildlife habitat.
  9. Take a nature hike and see how many different trees or flowers you can find.
  10. Take a rainbow tour and give your children the assignment to collect something from each color of the rainbow.

upcycled-yogurt-pencil-cups (7 of 8)

Crafts To-Do

  1. Paper Mache Light-Up Globes
  2. Recycled Paper At Home
  3. Upcycled Bottle Cap Art Project
  4. Paper Beads from recycled flyers
  5. Puffy Paint Earth
  6. Coffee Filter Globe
  7. Homemade Oatmeal Playadough
  8. Use your mismatched socks to create puppets
  9. Grab your pinecones you collected on your scavenger hunt and let your kids cover them in peanut butter and then roll in bird seed.  Hang from the tree and go bird watching!
  10. Use your old milk or juice cartons to create a birdhouse.

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Eat Sustainably

Teaching our children to eat sustainably may take a little bit of effort in the age of mass supermarkets but it is completely possible!  Most average children don’t know where food comes from.  Some think it comes from store.  You walk into a store, buy a box off the shelf and that is how we get food.  I asked a few children about how food got into the box or can and they didn’t know.  It really is interesting to talk to children and find out their perspective!

I think it is vital that they understand the process that goes into making food available.  Having a simple garden and having them work along side you as the produce grows, seeing that it doesn’t happen overnight, but takes time and energy is so important!

wild planet tuna

Many companies are taking the steps needed to make the food they provide more sustainable and I LOVE that they are becoming more widely available!  Take Wild Selections® as an example.  They provide premium quality, sustainably sourced fish that’s 100% traceable.  You can actually visit WildSelections.com to learn where the fish in your can was caught!   How cool is that?  Talk about a great geography lesson while you are enjoying a delicious tuna that is Non-GMO Project verified.

wild selections tuna fish

Wild Selections® is the only full line of Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified sustainable seafood. It is of the upmost importance to Wild Selections® that the seafood we love is around for future generations to enjoy, that is why they gives back to the oceans by donating 13 cents from every can sold—a total of $1 million by 2018—to World Wildlife Fund marine conservation and fishery improvement projects.  You can learn more about the Wild Selections® difference, their partnership with the WWF and Marine Stewardship Council certification by visiting their website or YouTube channel.  I found my Wild Selections® tuna at Walmart.  You can use their store locator to find Wild Selections® near you.

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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.