Growing Up Green
Teaching toddlers earth-friendly habits is easier than you think
It’s Never Too Late or Early
While some people started living a “green lifestyle” long before it was popular, there are many others that are just now catching up with the trend. Living a green lifestyle simply means that one is conscious of the impact one makes on the planet. For most people, it means taking steps to try to minimize their carbon footprint, or the amount of environmental damage that they cause.
The good news is that, no matter what age someone is, it’s never too early or too late to jump on the green bandwagon. Not only are babies and toddlers no exception, but toddlerhood is a perfect time to start teaching a greener way of life.
Greening the Toddlers
Some parents may think that toddlers aren’t quite sophisticated enough to learn about the environment. After all, they’re just learning to really grasp some of the most basic skills in life. But this belief couldn’t be further from the truth. When kids start understanding about other things in the world the live in, they can start learning about protecting the environment, as well.
“It’s just part of parenting, to teach our kids important lessons at every age,” says Crissy Trask, author of It’s Easy Being Green: A Handbook for Earth-Friendly Living. “We don’t wait until our kids are 5 or 6 to start teaching them about good practices, like keeping their hands to themselves, sharing, brushing their teeth, eating their vegetables, etc. Toddlers are no less capable of learning behaviors that conserve resources than they are of learning any new behaviors that are simple to grasp.”
Toddlers are naturally curious, and their brains are magnets for absorbing information. Introducing toddlers to simple things they can do that are better for the planet is perfect timing. While they may not grasp the entire concept of why doing things a certain way is beneficial, they will be learning good habits that can last them a lifetime. What they learn will become a way of life, so that when they are able to grasp such issues as global warming, pollution, landfills, and waste, they will already be living a lifestyle that contributes to lessening the damage they generate. They will be doing their share, long before they fully understand the consequences of someone not doing their part.
“Parents should try to recognize opportunities to teach toddlers ‘eco-lessons’ in the moment, the same way they would seize the opportunities to teach them about safety, sharing, and manners,” Trask says.
YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN