Our planet needs us more than ever, this is one certainty which we cannot ignore. We are damaging our oceans, forests, animals… if we don’t make real changes now, we can say farewell to the world as we know it. Teaching our children how to be conservation savvy is perhaps the best way to make real tangible changes- from little acorns mighty oaks grow! So, for this reason we have compiled this list of conservation tips for kids. If it becomes second nature to them now, then it will be easy for them to continue this into adulthood and hopefully the next generation will be more responsible as custodians of the beautiful planet we call home.
Conservation Tips for Kids (We All Should Heed)
1) Save Water
You wouldn’t flush the loo the whole time you were on it, but some people have a bad habit of leaving the tap running while they’re cleaning their teeth – which could waste 35,000 litres of water per family per year. That is not only incredibly wasteful and damaging to the planet, but it will no doubt cost you a pretty penny in water bills too! Reducing our use of water reduces the energy required to process and deliver it to homes, business, farms, and communities, which in turn helps to reduce pollution and conserve fuel resources. Teach your children to turn the tap off in between brushing so that not a drop of our precious water source is wasted.
Conservation Tips for Kids: Try putting the plug in the sink to show children just how much water fills up when you leave the tap running – a simple yet effective visual reminder to teach our children about the importance of water conservation.
2) Save Electricity
Most of the energy sources we depend on, like coal and natural gas, can’t be replaced – once we use them up, they’re gone forever. Switching off our appliances when not in use can save energy and benefit our planet in a hugely beneficial way. Most of us turn off ceiling lights when we leave a room, but what about the little tiny green and red LEDs glowing in the darkness? All of those TVs, music players and the rest of life’s modernities need to be switched off when not in use so that we save as much energy as possible- by doing so you could save up to 10% a year. Be sure to unplug gadgets completely (not just switch them off) as these energy vampires often suck up power even when we’re not using them! Conservation of electrical energy can help to lessen pollution and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, making for a happier and greener planet.
Conservation Tips for Kids: Introduce a sticker reward chart so that every time your children notices a gadget which an adult has left on in the house they get a sticker. Unplugging your phone once its fully charged is also important so encourage your children to remind you to unplug and switch off – they will love nothing more than pointing out something you’ve done wrong!
3) Reuse and Recycle
A more considered approach to waste and recycling is something we should all be aiming for, no matter what our age. Reducing landfill is incredibly important as rubbish dumped in landfill sites releases harmful chemicals and greenhouse gasses which damage the ozone layer. Not only this, but the processes and waste products involved in manufacturing non-recyclable products such as single-use plastics is incredibly damaging and a waste of our planet’s resources. As recycling saves energy it also reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which helps to tackle climate change.
Conservation Tips for Kids: Find ways of turning recycles/pre-loved items into useful items. Junk modelling can be a good way for introducing young children to the mindset that recycling can not only be fun and useful too. Also make sure that your children are considerate in their choices when it comes to consumption; choosing paper over plastic/pre-loved over brand new are all considerate ways to start making small changes to save our planet.
4) Walk or Cycle
Using the car is sometimes unavoidable, especially when you have a big food shop to do or the whole family goes to visit a family member who lives far away. It’s important to teach our children that as well as being an amazing way to remain healthy and keep our bodies in tip top condition, walking instead of starting up the car can help to save our planet too. The only fuel you need to walk is the food and drink you consume. Cars, on the other hand, are expensive and use fuels which cause pollution in our environment. You can reduce your carbon footprint massively by walking shorter journeys instead of driving and you’ll also save on petrol costs.
Conservation Tips for Kids: Encourage your children to look at maps to plan out their route prior to going anywhere to make walking a fun and exciting activity. Encourage awareness of health benefits by clocking up the steps/miles on a chart and rewarding the family member who does the most each week, and make sure you car share on the school run wherever possible.
5) Save the Bees
Bees are amongst the most important creatures to humans on Earth. These amazing insects pollinate over 80% of all flowering plants including 70 of the top 100 human food crops. Over the last two decades, startling research has shown that this hardworking creature – once described by Earthwatch as the ‘most invaluable species on the planet’ – is in rapid decline. Without bees and their natural pollination global food production would be severely damaged. Sir David Attenborough says if we don’t save the bees, humanity will follow them into oblivion in just four years.
Conservation Tips for Kids: Encourage your little ones to be green fingered and help you out in the garden. Give them a flower pot or patch of their own to look after- it will give them ownership and pride when they see the brightly coloured blooms attract all manner of insectlife, especially bees. Make a bee drink to re-energise tired/injured bees by mixing two tablespoons of white, granulated sugar with one tablespoon of water, and place on a spoon for the bee to reach. This sugary drink will help revive them!
6) Go Plastic Free
Plastic free initiatives are hitting the news at the moment, and rightly so! Did you know that a single plastic bag can take up to 500 years to fully disintegrate in landfill? Around 1 trillion (yes TRILLION) bags are used every year worldwide so this is something which really needs changing, and fast. The convenience of plastic shopping bags carries with it a very high cost to the environment and also negatively affects human health. Using recyclable reusable bottles and bags, and choosing sustainable materials instead of plastic are all first steps you can take to ridding our planet of this most harmful and damaging substance.
Conservation Tips for Kids: Once you get into the habit of using reusable bags when shopping, it is not much of an inconvenience at all. Reusable shopping bags are very durable and can be reused many times over the course of their useful life. Personalise a jute bag with names, stitched pictures, badges or more to encourage little ones to use reusable bags and do-away with plastic ones. Drinking from glass bottles instead of plastic ones helps rid our planet of plastic waste, as does boycotting the use of straws! Tell your children all about the hazards of single-use plastics and help them to become more responsible planet custodians of the future.
Have you introduced your children to the importance of conservation and educated them about living more responsibly to help save our planet? Leave your comments below or on Facebook about your top conservation tips for kids, we’d love to hear them!