Do, or Don’t Do. It’s that simple for kids. A child scurries up a boulder and in a split second they decide whether to jump off the other side or not. Do, or don’t do. I have never seen a child hesitate at the top and think, “the ground does seem a bit uneven down there; and I did tweak my knee in soccer earlier; and then there is the jungle gym that I want to be my best for later…”. Nope. They do, or don’t do.
This is why introducing children to living an environmentally friendly lifestyle is an incredibly powerful impetus for change.
Kids know how to do… or not do, and they will use their various “powers” to help you do the same. A child doesn’t understand that it has been a long week and one more meal from scratch just might put you over the edge. The minute the cashier hands you the styrofoam takeout container, your child will let you, and everyone else in the restaurant, know that the container is “bad for the earth!”. So save yourself the apologetic half smile you would give the cashier, whip up some guacamole and beans, and call it a meal.
After your child has set their sights on reducing their trash creation, grocery shopping will become a whole new experience. Your child does not understand that you “need” to grab some pasta, which unfortunately comes in a non-recyclable bag. Nope. “That will be trash!,” they will proclaim for all to hear.
You know they are right. Why are you searching for justification? Moments pass as you stand frozen in the aisle working through your options. Your children are just staring at you. They might very well be thinking, “come on mom, DO… or DON’T do. It’s that simple.”
“Guacamole again?” you ask yourself. Maybe. Until you introduce the concept of local eating and then you can kiss those luscious, green beauties good bye.
Children are just as skilled at appreciating others’ efforts as they are at calling you out on your shortcomings. While you might smile at the couple picking up trash as they stroll the beach, your children will squeal, “look mommy, they are trying to save the earth too!” I can guarantee that your child’s response will be remembered far longer than yours.
Children are powerful, inspirational, little beings. They will move your household from the “average american home” to an eco-friendly lexicon! All you need to do is plant those little seeds of knowledge and bring them along on the journey.