The environment is fragile and precious, meaning that it’s vital that every family not only understands the importance of the natural world but that they are playing an active role in protecting it. Here are just a few ways that your family can be more environmentally aware.
Spend time in nature
The best way to develop a meaningful awareness of the environment is to spend time out in nature. Whether you go hiking, camping or join a local naturalist group, do something outdoors as a family on a regular basis. Exploring a variety of natural areas will mean you learn about a wider diversity of environments, but even just getting to know your local bushland will significantly boost your knowledge and understanding of nature. Borrow a field guide from your local library and take it with you on your adventures, as this will make it a lot easier to understand what you are looking at.
Start a garden
If you have any outdoor space at your home, start growing your own vegetables. There is something magical about watching a seed grow into a plant that produces delicious, healthy food. Apart from learning a lot about how different plants grow, you will also get lots of interesting visitors to your garden such as local birds and insects. Having your own veggie garden will also provide a marvellous excuse to start composting, and whether you start inground composting or invest in a bokashi style system, your compost will do wonders to create nutrient rich soil and in turn, nutritious food for your family.
Be water conscious
Water is fast becoming one of the world’s most precious natural resources so the sooner you teach your kids about water conservation the better. Installing a dual flush toilet will make saving water easy and a shower timer can help to keep everyone conscious of how long they are spending in there. Invest in a water efficient washing machine, water your garden by hand instead of with sprinklers and start harvesting all that free water from the sky via a rainwater tank. Most importantly, explain to your kids why these water friendly measures matter and involve them whenever possible.
Reuse and recycle
As soon as your kids are old enough to understand, explain to them how natural resources are used to create products and the importance of recycling. Establish systems in your home that ensure that nothing is wasted and lead by example. Don’t throw away anything that still has some life left in it, be it a jar, a box or a piece of paper. If you can’t make use of the item any longer, donate or recycle it when you can.
Keep track of your progress
While it is all well and good to preach environmental values, it is important to hold your family accountable by keeping track of your progress together. Chart your monthly usage of petrol, water and energy, and count how many bags of garbage you throw out versus how many you recycle. Set goals together, brainstorm ways to further reduce your environmental footprint and reward your family when you reach important targets.
There is no greater lesson you can teach your kids than the importance of caring for the environment. If you need advice on choosing a composting system or tips on how to get your kids involved, talk to the experts at Bokashi.