Help your child fall in love with nature

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It’s never too early to start raising an environmentally conscious child and to show them that you care for the environment as a family. Lead by example and explain your actions and the consequences to your sweetheart.

Here are five simple but very effective ideas:

1. Spend as much time outdoors as possible

When the weather permits, take your baby outside to look at the wind rustling the leaves. Or take a stroll around your neighbourhood while chatting about the cloud formations, colourful flowers or the smell of freshly cut grass. Rather than spending time in front of the TV set, plan an outdoor activity with your child. Visit a nearby park or go to the beach – even if it’s just for a walk. It'll inspire a real love for nature.

2. Reduce, reuse, recycle

Teach your child how to recycle or reduce waste by saving materials that can be used for art projects or playschool activities. Reduce, reuse, recycle!

3. Save water

Talk about the importance of saving water while brushing their teeth, washing their hands or taking a shower. Set a good example and they are sure to follow your lead.

4. Discourage littering

Cultivate a love and respect for animals, big and small. Explain the devastating effects of littering on our environment and wild life. Plastic containers are choking our oceans, while metal tins, fishing tackle and broken glass are but a few examples of waste that injures or kills various animal species.

5. Grow your own food

Make a healthier choice and swop packaged, store-bought food for home-grown alternatives like tomatoes from your vegetable garden, or fruit from your nearest farmer’s market. Nature provides us with great choices for meals and snack times, but we have to make a habit of pointing these out to our kids and showing them how it’s done.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." – Margaret Mead.

Do you leave environmental issues and teaching to the schools, or do you actively educate your family and model love and respect for nature? Let us know how you and your family do this - send comments to chatback@parent24.com.

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