Financial Parenting

Teaching Kids About Sustainability

Illustration of Marty with her mum shopping - A Smart Way To Start

Founder & CEO,
Author, International Public Speaker, SDG Advocate.

In our busy daily lives, one thing that we don’t always spend enough time on is teaching our kids about responsible and conscious living. However, I believe that an important (and often overlooked) aspect of any financial parenting is sustainability.

Why Teaching Your Kids About Sustainability Is Important

What kind of world do we want to live in? That’s a big question.

Do we want cleaner water and clean air? Do we want children to go to school? Do we want cities with infrastructure that supports the inclusion of all people? These are things we often take for granted living in Switzerland or in Europe. But we should be mindful that this is not a reality for everyone on this planet. And it’s a great question to engage the kids with, in almost any daily circumstance, because it enables them to develop a sustainability mindset.

As I mentioned in a previous article, sustainability is also about longevity. It’s about teaching kids how to allocate their resources. It’s about showing kids how to protect our planet. It’s about raising kids that are conscious and aware of how they can positively (and negatively) affect nature and society.

We can’t delay teaching kids these principles when they’re older. We have to integrate these kinds of lessons and learning when they are still young, because their money habits are largely set by age 7.

We would love them to all be sustainably aware as they are growing up!

How To Start Teaching Your Kids About Sustainability

1. Start at home.

As always, good practices start at home, where your kids can observe them and experience them everyday. Make sure that you are conscious of the little things. It can be something as simple as recycling.

2. Start small.

It can be something as simple as teaching your kids how to sort the trash or lessening single-use plastics. After all, sustainable eco-practices start with things that we do and encounter everyday!

3. Make your sustainable and eco-conscious decisions visible.

This is like the money tip I’ve given previously, where I ask you to make your money decisions visible to the kids. You have to give children the chance to see your sustainable decisions in action. You are their role model and this kind of visibility opens up great conversations.

4. Talk to them about your environmentally-conscious decisions.

When you bring along your kids during errand runs, try to explain to the the logic behind certain decisions you’ve made. For example, try to explain to them that you chose a certain dishwashing liquid brand over another because of its non-harmful components. Or explain that you choose to buy vegetables in the farmer’s market because it lessens air pollution if trucks don’t have to transport the foods too far. It’s about making sure that your kids know that you are making certain buying decisions. And making sure your kids can grow to understand the reason why you make these important decisions.

5. Never assume your kids are too young to learn!

Sustainability is a big word, which is probably why we try to avoid it when they’re young. Don’t be daunted! The important thing is that your kids are exposed to these practices. It’s important also that they grow into a more sustainable and ecologically-conscious lifestyle. It will then be easier for them to consistently make good choices when they are older.

It’s never too early for them to learn things that will help them protect their future.

Sustainability Is Protecting The Planet For The Future

We all love our kids. And by teaching them to make informed choices, we are helping to shape the better future we all wish for. Our kids will be the ones to reap the benefits of our drive to protect the planet.

So practicing sustainability is about making sure that there are enough resources to go around for generations to come.

It’s about making sure that our kids will inherit a world that is equal and just.

And most importantly, it’s about enabling your kids will do the same for theirs! Once we set precedent to our kids about our love for the planet and our will to protect it, they will continue the practice and pass it down to their kids too!

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