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Nurture Eco-Friendly Habits In Children 

With environmental concerns becoming increasingly urgent, teaching children to be eco-friendly is more important than ever. This will not only help them to understand their impact on the planet but also instil habits that can shape their behaviour for a lifetime. Here we’ll explore practical ways to encourage the family to develop eco-friendly habits and ways to motivate your children to join in and nurture eco-friendly habits in children.

Conserve energy 

When children are old enough to understand, talk to them about how important it is to conserve electricity and not waste natural resources, pointing out the added benefit of saving money (more money for family treats etc!). Encourage them to do things such as switch off lights when they leave a room, turn off the television when they’re not watching it, and avoid leaving the fridge door open unnecessarily. Leave the car at home as often as possible by walking, going by bike or using public transport. If your children are reluctant to walk, make a game of it by playing ‘I-Spy’, doing a scavenger hunt, or racing to reach certain points on your route. 

Conserve water 

A family can unintentionally waste many gallons of water each day. Encourage children to get into the habit of turning off the tap when they are brushing their teeth and have showers instead of baths when they are old enough. Also, teach them to only fill their water cup halfway to avoid wasting water – they can always get more water if they’re still thirsty. Encourage them to get involved with watering plants by using clean leftover water, and give them age-appropriate jobs such as putting on the washing machine or dishwasher, but only when they have full loads. This is a great way of nurturing eco-friendly habits in children.


Explain to your children what happens to our rubbish if it isn’t recycled; it goes to landfill sites, which over time pollute the environment and harm wildlife. Obviously, not all materials can be recycled, but make sure everyone in the family knows what can be recycled and what can’t. Suggest your children make signs for your recycling containers or get creative by illustrating what belongs in them. Even young children can get involved by helping to place recyclables in the correct bins, while older children could be given the job of taking the recycling bin out to the street on collection day. 

Green Eating 

Meat, dairy and egg farming all contribute to greenhouse gases, so if your family usually eats a lot of meat, you can reduce your environmental impact by going meatless one or two days a week. Involve your children in meal planning, shopping for ingredients, and cooking. Teach them to choose products with minimal packaging or packaging that can be reused or recycled. Locally sourced and seasonal ingredients reduce the carbon footprint associated with long-distance food transportation, while also helping to support the local economy. Give your children the job of remembering reusable bags to carry the shopping home in, especially if you tend to forget them yourself! 


Encourage your children to get creative by doing eco-friendly craft activities. Use recycled materials such as old boxes, newspapers, scraps of fabric etc to create fun art projects. Not only is this good for their creativity and imagination, but it will also teach them the value of repurposing and reducing waste. Keeping scrap paper for drawing is also a great way to reduce waste and give children environmental responsibility from a young age. Some great craft ideas for nurturing eco-friendly habits in children.

Nature Walks & Cleanups

Go on regular walks in nature as a family or with friends. Pointing out animals, plants and insects along the way will help your children to learn about habitats and ecosystems, and develop a sense of connection and appreciation for nature. Go a step further by taking bags and gloves for impromptu clean-up sessions, so children can actively play a part in keeping their surroundings litter-free and safe for wildlife, as well as giving them a sense of accomplishment.   

Gardening Adventures

Set aside a section of your garden or balcony, if you have one, for your children to look after. Encourage them to plant their own fruits, vegetables and herbs, guiding them as they care for the plants from seed to harvest. This hands-on experience will not only foster a deeper connection with nature, it will also encourage patience and, hopefully, adventurous eating habits. By actively participating in the growth process, children will gain a deep appreciation for nature and will be more inclined to explore and enjoy a variety of foods.

Organise a swap among friends 

Why buy new when second-hand is often just as good, not to mention more sustainable and budget-friendly? Whether it’s toys, books, clothes or equipment, items in good condition can be passed on to others, extending their lifespan and reducing waste. Involve children in regularly sorting through things they no longer play with, wear or need and host a ‘Swap Shop’ at home. Let them invite their friends over to trade toys, books, or clothes they no longer use for items their friends have outgrown. It’s a fun way to encourage sharing and reduce clutter, while also instilling eco-friendly habits.

Doing some or all of the above will not only benefit the environment but also nurture values of respect, community, and guardianship in our children, empowering them to become responsible global citizens. By teaching them to make an effort to reuse, recycle, cut waste, and be at one with nature, we are not only protecting the planet for future generations but also highlighting the importance of living in harmony with it. So let’s try our best to guide our children towards a greener, brighter future.