The environment wasn’t really discussed in my childhood (besides science class). Truthfully, I first heard the word compost from a barista in Bushwick, Brooklyn when River was an infant. Why hadn’t the schools I attended, and the circles I ran in discussed the environment more often? I started diving into this question more, sorting through why and how.
The idea that every single human plays a larger part in what happens in our world and in the world we leave is a pretty powerful thought process. I believe that once you decide to make every moment a conscious one, that not only impacts yourself, but others and the earth, you’ve helped the tilt.
Given the recent events, here are 5 ways I raise environmentally conscious children:
1. Recycle. It’s obvious and strict in our home. It isn’t something an adult does, it’s something the kids do as well. Teaching kids about paper, plastic, and metals on all levels is essential. River tends to look at everything that I would normally recycle in an art form. In a sense, she feels like she could reuse most things, and I can see her wheels spinning. When we don’t need to reuse things, we sort them properly.
2. Purge with a replace. I’ve talked about this often, but the kids are used to selling and replacing. We try not to buy things we don’t need. Lately, our conversations are focused on books. While I love supporting our local bookstore, we use the library more and more often.
3. Compost. Again, this is something to do with them. Not for them. Children are like sponges, eager to learn and practice.
4. Buy Slow. I know it can be hard and a financial strain to some, but supporting ethically made fashion is a must. If you can’t invest in slow fashion, then try and go vintage shopping.
5. Meatless Mondays. I became a vegetarian a few months ago, and in general, I don’t buy meat for the kids. If your home is meat heavy, try to dedicate one day a week to not consuming meat, it can and will make a big difference.
6. Bagless. The cashiers at our local grocery store make fun of me. I would rather stuff my children’s book bags with groceries than take a bag. It’s become so engrained in me that when the guy bagging starts to grab for one, I kind of jump and say “NO!”
We’re all just trying to do our best, but we have to try a little harder. I would love to hear how you raise environmentally conscious children of your own!