Teaching Your Kids to Take Care of the Earth
Every day is Earth Day. – Author Unknown
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
It is absolutely vital that we include our children in our efforts to protect the environment. They learn what they see.
When you recycle, you are being a good steward of the earth, and thus – you are teaching and leading your children by example. Get your children involved in the process of sorting the garbage, learning what is recyclable, why and how we recycle at our local recycling center. Teach them that about 75% of household waste can be recycled — paper, newspaper, cardboard, glass, aluminum, and plastics. 1 Here are other ways you can teach the importance of recycling:
- Show them how they are helping the environment by choosing to recycle their trash instead of just throwing it into the trash can.
- Help them understand that recycling saves money by allowing you to reuse something you already have, instead of purchasing new.
- Explain where the garbage is taken to – teach them about landfills, and the way our Earth is effected by our consumerism and excessive waste from product packaging.
- Explain that The 3 R’sare simple ways to do our part: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.
The Story of Stuff
A great way to teach this to younger kids is through the advocacy website: storyofstuff.org. The Story of Stuff Project’s journey began with a 20-minute online movie about the way we make, use and throw away all the stuff in our lives.
It shows the whole process of where trash goes, and how we need to help save our environment by making smart choices, and how we can consume less, and save more. It is a great project with a great purpose.
Compost with Worms
You can save money composting by creating less waste and yard trimmings to bag and dispose of. The Environmental Protection Agency says that 27% of all United States municipal solid waste comes from yard trimmings and food scraps alone!
Your old food can be turned into nutrient rich compost with vermicomposting—also known as worm composting. PBS has a great infographic that will guide you as you start composting.
Buy some red worms (or red wrigglers) to break down your organic kitchen waste. Then, you can add the rich compost to your garden to help it grow nutritious fruits, and vegetables. If you want to learn more about how to compost – visit howtocompost.org for more information to get you started.
God calls us to work the Earth and take care of it. This is just one of the many ways we can work with nature to observe how wondrous it is.
The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. Genesis 2:15 (NIV)
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