5 ways to teach your kids to be environmentally-friendly

It is important to instil green values into your child from a young age, as you would with other good habits. Here are 5 ways to educate them on the importance of being environmentally friendly.
Get rid of disposable bottles
Since they are not about to start ordering takeaway food anytime soon, teach them about the disadvantages about disposable items from one of the first examples they’ll come into contact with: water bottles. Don’t make it a habit to buy water in disposable bottles, instead hand each child their own bottle to take wherever they go. To make it fun, allow them to personalise it with stickers.
Waste not
Singapore is a wasteful country, being one of the top waste producers in the world despite our size. Education on reducing wastage starts at the dining table – all food on their plates should be eaten (if all else fails, the popular grandmother’s horror tale of “every grain of rice not eaten mean you’ll marry a man or woman with a pockmarked face”). Other ways of teaching your kids on reducing waste include recycling wrapping paper, and giving daily waste products such as newspapers a new lease of life by turning them into something fun such as making paper mache with it.
Water lesson
As if the recent hike in water prices isn’t enough incentive for you to start saving water! To become mindful about saving water starts from a young age. Make saving water into an interactive activity with your kids – for example, if they forget to turn the tap off when brushing their teeth, show them afterwards the (approximate) amount of water they have wasted in a pail to help them visualise. Challenge them to reduce the amount in the pail as much as possible – the person with the lower score wins!
Recycle Recycle Recycle
There are many more things that can be recycled than you can imagine. For example, empty milk cartons and egg shells can become a vessel for germinating seeds in. When ready to transplant, simply pot the carton or egg shells directly into the soil – it will eventually break down. Kids will love finding out that almost everything they thought should be discarded can be reused again. When something is fun or interactive, children will naturally take an interest in.
Save energy
Teach kids how to save energy and responsibility at the same time by making them “owners” of their own rooms. Enforce a rule of switching off bedroom lights after leaving their rooms, and give them a little reward when they’ve done their part daily.