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Top Tips To Teach Your Kids How To Be More Environmentally Aware

Nude lunches

This might seem like a no-brainer when it comes to school lunches. However, you would be surprised how many students I see every day that have pre-packaged snacks in their lunch boxes. The easiest way to create ‘nude lunches’ is fresh fruit and homemade snacks. Yes, it can take a few hours on a weeknight or weekend but get the kids involved in the cooking too and share the experience with them. You might also find your kids eat healthier snacks when you start making them at home.

Grow your food

Now don’t freak out! I’m not asking you to build a veggie patch in your backyard. Although, if you have the space and motivation to do so, go for it! Otherwise, you can start growing different fruit and vegetables in pots around your home, instead of buying them wrapped in plastic in the supermarket. This allows you to always pick it fresh when you need to and avoid food wastage. Growing food teaches kids the importance of sustainability and healthy food habits. Easy plants to grow in pots include; parsley, chives, basil, thyme, oregano, tomatoes, silver beet, shallots, strawberries and beans.

Return and Earn

Once kids realise this is an easy way to make pocket money, I’m sure they will make an effort to find as many bottles and cans as they can. In Australia, most states and territories have taken on the challenge to find better ways to reduce waste and recycle and ‘Return and Earn’ is one of those initiatives. It allows households to recycle their glass or plastic bottles and aluminium cans in return for a cash payment. Encouraging kids to get involved in this initiative is a great way to teach them responsibility for their waste but also allows them to earn some money for their hard work.

Fix it

Teach your children that when something is broken, it doesn’t need to be thrown away – it can be fixed. Fixing a toy could be as little as buying some superglue or sewing up a hole with some thread. Not only does this reduce sometimes avoidable waste but also teaches our kids the importance of caring for their toys and finding an alternative to fix something when it is broken.

Make do

This tip is a hard one for kids to adjust to, especially if they are used to getting what they want, brand new. However, I think it’s important to teach our children to make do with what they already have around the home. This could include using old clothes, recyclable materials, nature or office supplies you already have at home, to make things like artworks, costumes, cards, wrapping paper, toys or imaginative constructions to play with.

School Stationery Supplies

As parents, we know that pencil cases have a limited life-span – usually around one term if you’re lucky! Make sure you look for non-plastic pencil cases and choose fabric such as calico or thick cotton instead. Think about what goes inside too – I’m really loving Pilot Pen’s Begreen range made with plastic-free, recycled packaging. They even have a pen called B2P made from recycled plastic bottles.  Make sure you also pack a re-fill to maintain the pen’s lifespan.

For more info visit the eco teacher collective and @ecoteachercollective
To find out more about Pilot’s Begreen range visit pilot pen

Jessica Greer, The Eco Teacher Collective

Jessica Greer is a primary school teacher and mother to Amelia, Jaxon and Ellie. Together with her husband Steve, she runs The Eco Teacher Collective – a small business with a big ambition to help reduce the amount of harmful waste that goes into packaging and ends up in landfill to make a better future for the generations to come.