Your Children and the Environment: Helpful Hints from Denis Thomopoulos

The best way to get kids excited about the environment is to help them form a personal relationship with it. If they form a relationship with the environment, they will care about it and work to protect it.

Get your kids to experience nature. Have picnics in botanical gardens. You can go on nature hikes at state parks. Give your children a small garden to take care of. They can even start a worm farm that will create fertilizer for the garden. Most cities have nature centers to visit with ever-evolving exhibits. Check your local city government website. Every home should have chores to teach children that they have to earn their way in life. Give them environmentally friendly chores like sorting the recycling, yard work, and taking table scraps for the compost. What parents do and say influence children. They need to walk the walk and talk the talk. They should replace incandescent bulbs in the house with eco-friendly, or CFL, bulbs. Buy energy saving appliances and turn off lights and electronics when they are not in use. They should opt to ride a bike or take public transportation. Buy a Hybrid car. Walk to destinations that have short distances. There are a few very important questions to ask your children. If you use these three questions you have started the right dialogue.

  1. What are their concerns for the environment?
  2. How do they feel and think about those concerns?
  3. What do you think we can do to help the environment?

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