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Earth Hour isn’t every hour – but it should be.

As we count down to one of the most notable days on the Better calendar, we can’t help but feel that caring for the environment shouldn’t just happen for an hour every year, but every hour of every day, every year.

Which is why this year, as we lead up to Earth Hour (which happens this Saturday, the 24th of March!), we want to take environmental responsibility right down to the ones who will inherit the Earth of tomorrow – our children.

It’s never too early to start talking with our little ones about why taking care of the planet is a good idea; but don’t let these conversations turn into one-sided lectures that will put them off for good. Instead, encourage them to get their hands dirty and the world clean, as you show them ways in which they can make a direct difference to climate change.

If you too believe that Green is an important way to live, then make your efforts last longer than Earth Hour. Check out these 6 simple things you can do with your kids every day to make a lasting commitment to the cause. 



1. Make Recycling Great Again

[Photo Credit: Babipur UK]

Anything that spells ‘fun’ for a kid is something they will continuously return to; so why not turn this into a game?

Choose a different material to recycle each month: it could be paper, plastic, metal, cloth, or even glass; then make it a point to drop these off in the recycling bin on your way about. Each person will get a point for every piece of item recycled (or more if they manage to accumulate a bag’s worth!); with plenty of other ways to score bonus points – for instance, being able to recycle at least once for 3 days in a row; or helping another family member to drop off their recycling waste, etc. You can even work in teams for better bonding, making this not just great for the environment, but for the family too! 



2. Inspire Green Fingers

Kids love creating new things, especially when it is something that they can help grow. Engage this natural curiosity and wonder with easy-to-manage gardening projects and teach them to care for these greens from seed to table. The more they understand about nature, the more they will instinctively protect it; instilling in them an invaluable sense of responsibility as well as a great sense of achievement on their end. 



3. Keep An Eye On Water Usage

Water conservation can be a difficult concept for kids to understand – especially the younger ones – but it can still be done from the day-to-day without things getting too complicated. Try and have more water play fun in public spaces like the beach or the pool. Use a watering can instead of a hose. Don’t leave the faucet running while we’re brushing our teeth or as we’re soaping ourselves… and then, surprise them with tidbits like,

“Did you know leaving six litres of water is wasted for every minute the water is left running?”

Curious explorers respond to ‘fun facts’ like these real positively, so prep yourself with some useful information to keep the learning going! 



4. Encourage Outdoor Play

Spending time out in the open is the easiest and cheapest way to teach kids about nature (and therefore getting them to appreciate it better). So make it a point to head out to the park, or the beach or playground at least once a week.

While out, engage your little ones in environmentally steered games like a race, or even a scavenger hunt. Create a list of things to find (A certain flower? Leaves? Litter? An insect?). Looking out for these things raises awareness of the impact of our own actions on nature, allowing us to learn in a more ‘hands-on’ manner, the true interdependence between us and the environment. 



5. Make Upcycling The New Way to Craft

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Photo Credit: Purple Jumble]

Upcycling reduces our footprint by re-purposing things and transforming them into something practical, valuable and artistic – which means just about anything we find lying around unused can be upcycled into something else.

Water bottles can be upcycled into bowling pins for a game set; rice sacks can be repurposed into bags and pouches; even old magazine pages can be transformed into woven coasters – the possibilities are really as far as the imagination stretches.

For little ones who need help getting started, stick to craft kits that teach invaluable skills which they can still continue to utilize even after all contents from the set is used. For instance, collage making, sponge art, marble painting – these nifty kits show that creativity can be achieved even with the simplest materials, making them keep their eyes open as they look for the next possible thing to repurpose. 


6. Embrace the Preloved

Lead by example, and help your little ones appreciate the beauty of ‘hand-me-downs’, whether in giving or receiving. Encourage them to give away old books, toys, and clothes when they have no use for them; inspire good ownership so the next person doesn’t have to deal with scribbled pages and worn out toys. And if your little one is receiving, help them adopt a right mindset towards their things. After all, old doesn’t always mean bad; often, it just means the thing gets loved twice.

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