Part of the joy of parenting is introducing your children to the world around them. If you care about our environment and want to make a difference in the planet’s future, you can enlist your child to help the planet. By allowing your child’s natural curiosity to initiate an exploration of the world, your time with them can be both enjoyable and educational.

Lead Children on an Outdoor Discovery

Spending time with your child outdoors can open their minds to many types of adventures. Let your children see the colors of the birds, smell the flowers, make mudpies, and dip their toes in a nearby stream. As time passes, your kids may have questions or express an interest in what they see.

Initiate a Love of Gardening With a Garden

Beginning a backyard garden will continue your children’s sensory orientation to the wonders of being outdoors. Give your child authority over one part of the garden and allow them to do all the necessary tending in that location. As the season progresses, they will learn how plants grow and feel a sense of pride when they harvest “their” section of the garden.

Take Their Love of Gardening to the Next Level

As your children begin to develop a better appreciation of the natural world, it will help them understand that they can have a relationship with the earth. They can quickly see how seeds become plants – and how plants become a salad. However, the next phase of your interactive adventure can allow them to see interactions they may not have easily discovered. If you show them how the clear gel from aloe plants can be good for skin care, they may be inspired to learn more about plants like aloe. For example, according to Brittanica, there are more than 500 species of aloe plants – which means there could be plenty to learn.

Show Them How you Help the Planet

Whatever you’ve been doing to conserve energy or use alternate energy sources can become the springboard for you to teach your child how to do their part. If you’re recycling, show the kids how to recycle – and also tell them why. If you have a compost heap, kids can be designated as the family’s Assistant Compost Officers. When you choose sustainable products, show your children how to compare product labels to make sustainable choices.

Provide Examples of Exceptional Sustainable Buildings

While your family is learning about helping the planet, you can encourage them to watch a virtual tour of a place that provides an exceptional example of sustainability. Watch a video of a building with a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certificate (such as the Empire State Building.) Help your child understand this species of aloe plant – which means there could be plenty to learn. Certification verifies compliance with standards such as low-emitting adhesives, paints, and building materials. They may be able to use that building to inspire a more sustainable lifestyle.

Let them Travel the World with Videos

On rainy days when your hometown looks uninspiring, let your child learn about fascinating places worldwide with very different surroundings. Seeing trees, flowers, and profoundly different animals can help your child learn about the roles these unique creations play in their regions. For example, your kids can learn about how coral reefs not only look beautiful but protect thousands of miles of coastline and provide a habitat for marine life. They can also learn that, according to NASA, Belize’s coral reef system is around 185 miles long.

Children have an immense capacity to learn and a natural curiosity about the world around them. By directing that curiosity toward helping to erase their carbon footprint, you can aid them in reframing their future. You can enjoy your time outdoors and with your child, but make it count for a better future.