Saving the world is hard work. But your kids can learn a greener way of life before they even learn to say “carbon emissions.” If you play your cards right and teach them the right lessons in the right way, sustainability will become second nature to them.
Thorne Ecological in Boulder works to ensure that love for the planet is in the air—and that the air is easy to breath. They focus on the kiddos, providing classroom visits, summer camps and a sanctuary where kids can go to get information. Stephanie Muirhead, Thorne’s administration director, says knowledge is the key to bringing about change. If there’s parent-child conflict—either the child or parent is set in his or her all-consuming behaviors—the best solution is to talk about it. Muirhead said how you communicate about the environment with your child sets the stage for how information is retained and learned. “The ‘doom-and-gloom’ effect doesn’t work,” she said. “Don’t say that if you don’t do these things, the planet is going to die.” Rather, explaining why things make a difference is the way to go. Talk about it over dinner and open it up for conversation.
The green effect
Thorne Ecological embraces the small changes like the big ones. Think small and go green. Here are some tips for the kids:
• Don’t pick flowers, instead take a picture
• Walk or bike to school
• Turn off the lights when not occupying the room
• Turn off the water when brushing teeth
• Know where the food comes from and buy locally. Take them to local farms to pick up produce or head to the farmer’s market.
• Generally, consume less