Parenting is not an easy task; young toddlers need a lot of attention, and their behaviours are not always predictable. Parents’ days are filled up with running after kids to feed them, make them sleep, keep them entertained. Practising sustainability might seem another huge extra effort, but we all know it is important because the future of the earth is theirs.
We want to encourage all parents to show their kids how to do it at home, where it is easy for them to learn and take it as a habit. We have invited a few mothers from our community to share their tips.
Minimalist lifestyle can start young
Founder and Creative Director Curious Montreal | Mother of 2 kids, 3 and 1 years old
It's been more than 30 years since the subject of climate change surfaced, and we really can't wait any longer. We need to shake things up now!
- Create moments instead of accumulating material things
- Organize activities that don't really need equipment
- Don’t waste food
- Buy used or recycled toys and furniture
- Make crafts with recycled packaging. E.g., colour-recognizing game with the egg carton
- Read story books about the topic of sustainability to the kids
"I think the key is to always create environments or activities that are conducive to sustainability and my one and only tip would be less is more. It may sound weird but keeping my daughter’s room (3 years old) tidy with only essential items has made her tidy as well! At this age having too much is like never enough. It's always been better for us to have less but with a rotation of items and activities."
My kids learn to appreciate the small and simple beauty of the earth
Carolijn | New York, USA
Writer | 2 kids, 2 and 4 years old
All the little things we can do for our planet might seem insignificant, but it does make a huge difference if we all make the same effort.
- I teach my kids about recycling and make them sort out the plastic, paper, and food waste
- I constantly remind my kids to turn off the water when they brush their teeth
- I reuse all packaging materials as much as possible
- I never buy wrapping paper, I use the drawings made by my daughters
- I take my kids to thrift and second-hand stores
- We mostly take public transport and only use a car if there’s no other way
"“Protecting our planet” is one of the first lines I wrote in my book Motherhood. When I realized that I was going to be a mother, I felt overwhelmed with the desire to protect my children, the generations after them, and the living, breathing earth! I teach my kids to appreciate the things that the earth is giving to us, the food, the colours, the water, the plants, the seasons... All those little and simple things around us made the earth beautiful and we should not take our planet for granted."
Teach the little ones a slow living lifestyle. It takes time, but it is worth it!
Photographer and recipe developer | 2 kids, 2 and 5 years old
As a general setup, I only purchase what we really need
- I only buy local and seasonal food
- I buy preloved (second-hand) clothes, furniture, and toys for my kids
- I teach my kids not to eat meat or fish everyday
- I use reusable bottles
- I make them practice recycling and avoid waste
- We began to grow some vegetables at home, which is a very cool activity to do with kids: they are happy and proud to do it
"I am a photographer and recipe developer, so food is my focus. I take my daughter Alice (5 years old) to the farmer’s market. I explain to her why we can't have tomatoes or strawberries all year long. I teach her that there's a season for each fruit, vegetable, flower, and we should not eat meat or fish every day. My kids have a mini farm with chickens in their school where they learn to make their own snacks from the eggs, and a slow living lifestyle. It takes time with toddlers, but it is worth it!"
My kids changed their behaviours to save the ice bears
Ellen | Antwerp, Belgium
Founder and creative director LN Knits | 2 kids, 3 and 4 years old
Children are the future. We need to teach them young!
- We always put the lights off
- We limit our water use
- We keep our place in a moderate temperature (not overheat by heating)
- We head into nature daily to find things to create with, we paint on rocks and leaves
- I teach my children in their early age how important a sustainable lifestyle is
"I use the example of “ice bear” to my children to make them aware of their actions! From her very early age I started showing my daughter children's books about climate change. I told her we want the ice bears to enjoy their ice as long time as possible, and it is important for us to separate our waste and save energy. She totally understood the concept. Every time I want to remind my kids to practice sustainability, I bring up the story of the ice bear. And it works, they truly care about its habitat and what he needs to survive."