Set An Example Of Planetary Stewardship For Your Kids.

June 23, 2009

When it comes to kids, leading by example is the best way to teach them. We have all seen the studies about how many kids grow up to repeat their parents’ lives, for both good and bad, and it’s up to parents to set a good example of planetary stewardship for their kids. If they see that you don’t care much for the earth you depend on for life, how do you think they will behave when faced with choices in the future? Will they remember seeing you recycle your plastics and your use of nontoxic cleaners, or will they remember watching you pour motor oil in the yard and putting aluminum cans in the bags going to the landfill? They start to learn by your example, and it is a duty you must take seriously.

It’s up to you, as a parent, to teach them that:

  • The planet is for everyone and no one should take more than their fair share.
  • Future generations will need to live here, so we should clean up after ourselves.
  • Everything we put down the drain, in the toilet, or in the landfill ends up in our drinking water eventually. Explain the process of wastewater and aquifers and why we don’t put toxic ingredients or pharmaceuticals down the drain.
  • Healthy, natural, organic foods are better for them, the farmers, and for the planet than those grown using toxic fertilizers and pesticides.
  • The choices we make and our day to day behavior can negatively affect people around the world, so choose wisely.
  • Electricity doesn’t just show up in the house in an endless supply – explain where it comes from and why we need to reduce how much we use.
  • That there are millions of people who go hungry every day and who live in terribly unsanitary conditions, and who need our voice to speak up for them whenever we can.


Creative Commons License photo credit: mikebaird

That list could go on and on and on…but you get the gist of it. It is up to all parents, and all adults, to teach environmental stewardship to our kids. Every generation from here on out will have an increasingly more aware and vested stake in what happens to our planet, so we need to do right by them. I don’t even have kids – but if I did, you could bet on the fact that I would be teaching them all this information that I know and live every day. Even when I watch friends’ kids, we talk about the environment…because their parents already started teaching them about it! They know about the polar bears and the melting sea ice – at 4 years old. And because they already know a little, they turn off the lights behind them and they don’t leave the water running when they brush their teeth. Every little bit helps – but it’s up to us to help them get there.

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Comments (4)

  1. Lisa says:

    Great post & really glad you mentioned electricity usage. We’re including our kids in our real-time usage project and as a result have seen a steady decline in our power bill: http://www.energycircle.com/ted_annotate.php

  2. david says:

    Of course, but many people do need to take pharmaceuticals, myself included. :)

  3. Pure Mothers says:

    My child is only 2 but he already know how to throw away the appropriate items in our 2 recycling bins!

    Just a note – you mentioned to teach about pharmaceuticals not being thrown down the toilet b/c they end up in our water. But just the use of these drugs cause problems with our water supply. They exit the body largely unchanged and still find their way into our water through the sewage system. So disposing of them properly is key – but, so is choosing natural remedies and seeking out naturopathic doctors and clinical nutritionists to resolve health problem first! :-)

    I will certainly be teaching my child that too! The pharm industry and life cycle of a drug is not environmentally friendly at all – from lab tests, toxic wastes, plastic bottles that CAN NOT be recycled – to the problem mentioned above = bad for environment!

  4. Brenna says:

    Great post! This is the most important thing for all parents to remember; to ensure their children become responsible global citizens. This is their world. We need to teach them to make it the best they can. And children learn best by example!