Raise your children to be good global citizens by encouraging them to be kind to the environment. Here, Lucy Bruce from Home Grown Nursery shares 10 top tips for teaching your children to be eco-friendly.

01. Go back to basics

I was always told as a child to turn the lights off, don’t boil the kettle full, take a shallow bath. Things have changed and we don’t have to only look at the cost of living but also at the impact that our actions are having on a planet.

02. Small things matter

At home make sure the children turn the tap off after they have applied soap and when they have wet their hands. In the shower, in between washing and shampooing, remember the tap goes off.

03. Food Trends

Going to the supermarket and buying these lovely individually wrapped raisins or food items can seem easy but it has a cost. I can either choose to feed my children processed food which takes in a lot of resources and packaging or I can go for plant-based foods which comes straight from the earth, uses minimal resources and nourishes our body.

04. Toy trouble

What is going to happen to that Barbie when it is finished? Plastic cannot ever be deteriorated, it is going to be on the planet longer than we are and if they choose to have it after that then so be it but at least make them aware.

05. Start at home

When children are choosing fruits and vegetables for snacks as opposed to sugary processed foods that take in a lot of resources to prepare, it is better not only for our health but they need to understand that it is better for the environment as well.

06. The sorting game

Make sure that children can sort through recycling, when you are finished with your milk carton, when you are finished with your cereal box and your yogurt pops, you have them all in one recycling bin. You need to sort them out into paper, plastic and tin.

07. Smart shopping

If they want a toy, what are the implications of the toy? Is it packaged properly? If it does have packaging, what are we going to do with that packaging?

08. Paper trails

We encourage children to recycle paper, so if you do have a sheet of paper to use every part of it back and front and when you are done with it to make sure you recycle.

09. Give them jobs

I have a water manger at home, a recycling manager and an electricity manager. Each one of my children are responsible for these areas at home. My electricity manager is responsible for making sure we don’t overuse electricity and that if we use it we turn it off afterwards. If we go to bed all the sockets are turned off, to make sure that we are not overusing the AC and are using the fans off and if the room is at a cool temperature then we are able to circulate the cool air with a fan. It is really good if your children are given titles and responsibilities and they do take it very seriously and again children will not only do this at home but also at school.

10. Give more than you take

When you are a parent and have a million things to do, the last thing you want to think about is if you are making a choice that is responsible for the planet or the environment. That is just not what is in our minds when we are trying to get the kids to bed. When we want to get them bathed a majority of the people out there don’t think about conserving water but once you get into the habit it becomes a lot easier.