How to be a Sustainable Influence on Children
Adults pave the way for children to learn and grow into responsible adults. But kids will often learn from things we do more than the things we say. So to instil good values, we must lead by example and make sustainable choices in our daily life to show children the way.
Sustainability and frugality go hand-in-hand. If eco-conscious parents raised you, you were probably taught to turn the water off when brushing your teeth and turn the lights off when you weren’t in a room. You also knew how to keep showers short and may have even learned how to recycle.
You take those habits with you when you first move out of your parents' home. And although some adults learned how to live in a more eco-conscious way, there are many out there who have never been exposed to that way of life at all. But in today’s climate, this is something we all need to learn for the future.
For parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, teachers, etc., it's valuable to learn how to be a more sustainable influence on children through the products you buy and the things you do. The best part is, being sustainable usually costs nothing or very little to implement and saves you money in the long run.
Sustainable Habits In The Home
One of the biggest problems in our world today is the water shortage crisis we face. 80% of the US’s state water managers expect a water shortage within the decade. Not only that but:
Each American uses 82 gallons of water on average per day.
The average family wastes 180 gallons per week.
The average American home spends over $1000 per year on water costs alone (1).
It's predicted that the population on Earth will top 10 billion by 2050. But with water scarcity already occurring in many countries thanks to droughts caused by climate change, experts say it will only exacerbate the global crisis.
Two-thirds of the world's freshwater is frozen, and there are plans to tap into these supplies in the future. The problem is, many developing countries may not have access to these supplies (2).
As children, what we learn shapes us as adults. Teaching them how to respect the environment by not wasting water is just one way you can prepare them for the future.
Sustainable Tip #1: Watch Your Water Usage
As mentioned before, many adults are not water-savvy. So here are some tips to reduce your water consumption and costs.
Replace old toilets, faucets, and shower heads with new, water and energy-saving ones.
Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth.
Run a full dishwasher instead of hand washing.
Consciously take shorter showers. Using a shower timer is a great way to manage your showers.
Buy waterless products, like Blueland cleaning products and Dew Mighty serum bars that are built with a planet-first mindset. Waterless formulations are not only better for our waster crisis, but products aren't diluted with water, which is usually used as a filler in most products.
Sustainable Tip #2: Go Plastic-Free, Start in the Bathroom
Once upon a time, it was impossible to find plastic-free products on the market. But today we’re seeing more brands focusing on plastic-free and zero-waste packaging.
We have shower products, face care, body care, bathroom accessories, and cleaning products in our bathroom alone. It’s a never-ending tidal wave of plastic packaging. Here are some items you can swap out today for those not housed in plastic.
Shampoo and Conditioner Bars.
Conventional shampoo and conditioner manufacturing is notorious for its lack of environmental diligence. The bottles are almost always virgin plastic, and their ingredients are problematic.
The main ingredient in shampoo and conditioner products is water, which, as mentioned earlier, is a precious resource that we cannot
Ethique (20% off)
UpCircle Beauty ($10 off)
What about all those products you use in the bathroom, like cotton tips and pads, and razors?
Sustainable Tip #3: Educate Your Children, But Make it Fun
They say that children will learn things faster if it’s something they enjoy doing. There’s a reason why they make things like multiplication and the alphabet into songs. I’m not sure why they stop doing that when we reach High School. I could have used a musical when I was learning algebra.
But for teaching your kids new things at home, it’s also a great way to keep your kids interested when it’s a topic that isn’t that engaging.
Here are just three ideas for making sustainability fun in the home:
I have a friend who makes recycling a sport, by placing basketball hoops over the different trash cans so that her young sons will be incentivized to recycle. She gives them points for each one they recycle, and at the end of the week, they get first and second place prizes.
Get your kids to help you cook a healthy meal, and explain it as they help you, or get them to help you make homemade cleaning products, like this very simple and safe cleaning spray.
Get your kids to garden with you. Gardening gives kids insight into how things grow, and you can start to grow your own vegetables, which is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint.
There are so many other ways you can teach your children, and yourself, more sustainable habits. But the best advice I’ve ever read is to lead by example. Children absorb everything that we do, so if you’re making good choices and doing good things for the environment, they’ll learn by seeing you do it.