Ways to Raise Eco Conscious Children

Living a more sustainable lifestyle is a goal that many of us have for the overall health of our planet and the future of our families. The best way to take care of the environment and to uphold a sustainable lifestyle is to raise the next generation to prioritize mother nature. Like many aspects of parenting, creating healthy habits involves repetition and teaching our children the values and reasons behind why we do things. We can explain why composting keeps material out of landfills and the importance of recycling. We also have the power to build empathy within children by explaining the importance of keeping our oceans and beaches clean to protect other people and wildlife.

To help in this journey, we have gathered a few tips for raising children to respect our earth.

1.)    Lead by Example. This is the best way to teach your child to be eco-friendly as children look up to their parents and mimic their behavior. The key is to not just talk about sustainability, but to actually practice it. Teach children early on to care about our environment by showing them how to recycle, turning off lights that aren’t being used and turning off the tap when brushing their teeth.

2.)    Take Them Outside. The best way to build a connection with the Earth is to take children outdoors and let them experience nature first-hand. This can be done by taking hikes, visiting the ocean, or simply having them help you with the yard work. If you and your family live in a more urban environment, picnics in the park are a great way to experience nature.

3.)    Teach Them to Respect Nature. When we spend time in nature, our presence often impacts the health of the plants and animals we come into contact with. While spending time outdoors, take the time to teach your children why staying on the trails is important in order to protect sensitive ecosystems, or why a closure due to nesting birds should be respected. While at the beach, teach them to clean up any trash before leaving, or not to disturb any of the coastal wildlife.

4.)   Teach Them how to Care for Plants and Animals.  Taking care of plants and pets is an easy way for your children to learn how to care for a living thing. This will also teach them empathy while building a sense of responsibility.

5.)   Create a Recycling Center. Teach children to always pick up after themselves and to dispose of trash in the proper containers. This can easily be done by having separate storage bins for trash, recycling and compost that are labeled accordingly. Children love placing things in containers and they will figure out the system pretty quickly, especially if you make it playful.


As we race toward meeting global sustainability goals, knowledge is power. Giving our children the knowledge and skills to live a more sustainable life will empower them to respect and cherish our planet.


Age Groups:

Advanced Pre-K

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