None of us can see the future, but there is a good chance that there are going to be a few changes, especially in relation to the way that we use energy and consume goods.The world is changing, and not particularly in a good way. Climate change is taking ahold and pollution levels are rising exponentially. Efforts are being made by countries across the world to dampen the effects of our previous destruction, but larger scale participation is needed. The average UK household is still consuming as they would have done 20 years ago, which is doing nothing to help our future as a human race. So, the question is, “Should you teach your child to be environmentally responsible?”. Well, we think so, and in the article you’ll find out why.
Prepare for the future
Habits are ingrained into the mind from a young age. As much as previous generations have been brought up with environmental issues far from their preoccupation, our children, and the future generations to come, are going to have to live with the consequences of that. As such, they will be the ones that are faced with slowing and reversing the effects of the climate change that we have caused up until now.
There are many things that can, and should, be done in the home every day, including recycling, energy / water conservation and growing plants and trees. Many of the activities within these categories can be great projects and chores for your child to develop their understanding of the world. One of the most important things here is recycling. Landfill sites across the UK are close to being full and within them lie millions of tonnes of recyclable waste that will not decompose for another million years or so.
As your child moves into adult life, ideally, being environmentally conscious and responsible will be second nature and will be done without a thought. This isn’t so difficult, it just requires a little direction from a parent.
What can you do?
There are a hundred and one ways to show your child the wonderful rewards of eco-friendly living. In reality, your life doesn’t have to change much at all, it’s just the small changes that we barely notice that are adapted.
You could give your child a project if they thrive on progress and responsibility. This could be:
- Plant and grow a plant or tree
- Build something from recycled materials
- Collect a specified amount of recyclable material for a reward
You could also give your child a chore that will subconsciously show them to be eco-friendly. This could be:
- Separating recyclables
- Hanging out washing to dry
- Washing up (not using a dishwasher)
As much as the above ideas are key, teaching your child to be environmentally responsible goes further. It mainly consists of being conscious about the amount of resources you are using, such as: water; gas; and electricity. A few key area in which these resources are wasted are: In the shower; on lighting; on heating; in brushing your teeth; and in leaving appliances plugged in.
Ok, so you’ve got a pretty good idea about how to teach your child about greenness, but what can you do right now? There are a few amendments that you could make in your house that could drastically improve the energy efficiency of your home. One of the key ideas you could use is switching to a green energy tariff . This will generally save you money while also saving the environment. They are available through a number of suppliers, you just need to carry out your comparison as you would usually. This tariff type will mean that your supply comes from 100% renewable sources, such as wind, solar and hydro.
Another idea that you could implement right away is switching your light bulbs to LEDs. up to 30% of the average UK electricity bill is made up of lighting costs. This is unnecessarily high and usually caused by having older, incandescent bulbs installed. Switching to an LED bulb will reduce the amount of electricity needed by 75-90%. You can buy sets of LED bulbs in all sizes and voltages for as little as £5 from major DIY stores like B&Q.
The third and final idea that you may want to use is switching your shower head to a water-friendly one. Showering accounts for an average of 17% of all water used in households. Just by switching your shower head in a house occupied by three people, you could reduce the amount of water used by around 2,600 litres per year, accounting to 156 less shower’s worth.