With the increasing perils our world is subjected to, being environmentally-conscious is as essential as ever. As the human population grows and the natural resources become even more scarce, everyone should play their part in ensuring sustainability, from recycling papers and plastic to leading a green lifestyle. As a parent, it is also your responsibility to guide your kids so they develop the same values and contribute to the planet’s sustainability for generations to come. As your home ought to reflect your core values, make sure you go out of your way to design eco-friendly interiors. You can use your home-improvement efforts to impart valuable lessons about sustainability to your children through the following ways.
Lead By Example
One of the most effective ways you can get your kids to emulate you is to lead by example. The motto, “Do as I say and not as I do,” just won’t cut it. One thing you may have already noticed is that your children tend to mimic your actions, from the things you say and your simple mannerisms to the severe choices you make in life.
You essentially hold a massive responsibility of setting an example by your actions. If you want to inculcate the importance of sustainable living among your children, then practice it yourself. Make sure you are not wasteful with resources at home. Use water and power efficiently, and always make an effort to recycle. More than just your words, use your actions to send the message effectively.
Moreover, make sure your own home manifests the value of sustainable living. Embrace minimalism. Currently a popular interior design theme, minimalism promotes simplifying, decluttering, and organizing. This offers a perspective shift, allowing you and your children to get into the habit of avoiding unnecessary stuff, choosing to select home possessions more mindfully. You also get to have interiors that reflect the clean, simple look modern design aspires for.
Make It Fun
One of the most effective ways you can teach kids, especially the younger ones, is to make it a fun experience. Watching NOVA episodes may be too boring for the little ones, but episodes of “Planet Earth” and “March of the Penguins” may be more effective at grabbing and keeping their attention. Children have a natural affinity for animals. Viewing the world through the feathery or furry lens can rouse their natural curiosity and interest. As you watch these shows, teach your kids that the animal kingdom and Mother Nature depend on people and the choices we make for a healthy life on planet Earth. These early lessons will go far in ingraining the big-picture responsibility in your kids.
The same approach applies to redesign your home. Make it a fun and educational experience for your kids. Get crafty. For one, you can give your old but perfectly functional footstool a redress. You can have fun reupholstering it with new fabric and painting the wooden stand with the color of your choice. You can even have your kids paint it however way they want. Children’s doodles, though rudimentary, can look artsy and inventive.
Get Your Kids Involved
Just like most parents, you know that children up to a certain age show a willingness to help mom and dad do stuff. As much as possible, get your children involved in whatever it is you are doing. This is especially true if you are doing meaningful things, like recycling. Getting them involved in seemingly menial household chores is also of vital importance. You can make this an opportunity to impart lessons on sustainability by using only natural cleaning products and make them fully aware of it. If you have teenagers, you can have them join you in a brainstorming session so you can work on more complicated projects like installing sustainable cork in your home.
You can also engage in activities kids of all ages love gardening! You can set up a small garden on your veranda using a huge rectangular planter. This is an excellent opportunity to teach your kids about composting and the value of growing your organic herbs and vegetables. Watching their plants flourish and eating food they have grown themselves provide a great sense of achievement for children, not to mention the lesson on sustainability.
One other thing they enjoy doing that you can take advantage of is shopping. You can take your kids with you while shopping for sustainable home design products. You can go to trusted eco-friendly providers like Bambeco, Viva Terra, and West Elm.
Read To Them
Kids love bedtime stories. Like most adults, you probably remember some of the stories that were read to you when you were a child. Books have a significant impact on people, making those that offer life lessons highly valuable. These days, you will find many green-themed books you can use to teach your kids the value of sustainability and stewardship using a language they can easily understand. There’s a great chance your kids will be asking you to read the books to them over and over again. This will effectively provide them with lessons on sustainability that will stay with them for many years.
You can use a popular home design trend to instill a love for books among your children further. Books make for great home decor. Just lump together a couple of books alternately between huge vases placed on simple, open shelving. The result will be an attractive, minimalist, and modern interior. Moreover, you get to make books a prominent figure at home.
Get Your Community Involved
One of the best ways to make your kids more aware of their environment is by getting your family involved in community-driven initiatives. Check with the homeowners association if there is an ongoing project. Community-driven projects are usually also environmentally inclined. Make sure you host your project as well. You can work with your neighbors to create sustainable crafts, and that would make great home decors. This way, you get to hit a lot of birds with one stone. You get to work on a socially-driven project, develop meaningful relations with your neighbors, teach your kids to be more socially involved, and work on your home improvement project. You can’t go wrong with that.
Get the fun started!