Teaching Children About Green Living by Example

8:13 AM

Children are taught about the basics of green living in school. They get to hear and watch about it on TV. Even some community activities they join are about green living, but do we parents think that the intended message has really sank to their consciousness enough to make it their way of life?

It has been said that the most effective way of teaching our kids about anything is by example. We parents can lecture all we want about the proper way to do things and yet do not get the results we want. Maybe because we haven't explained it simply enough to be age-appropriate or just maybe because we are doing the exact opposite of what we are saying.

Conflicting Messages

Many parents do not realize that they are sending conflicting messages to their children when they say one thing and do another. It has been proven time and again that doing what is right can be more difficult because it requires more effort. What is often forgotten is that there are less negative consequences, if any,when such effort is exerted.

And so most of us parents go through the motions of mouthing words that are expected to come from us as responsible guardians to our children. That is the easy part. The difficult part is being consistent with what we say through our actions. It can be pretty embarrassing when children call our attention to our lapses and nothing can be more humbling.

Leading the Way to Green Living at Home

Given the continuously escalating cost of living and the continuing threat to our environment, our family had a small talk in the hope of making our own contribution towards genuine green living. We agreed on some practical and doable measures as we believe we will just be dooming our efforts from the start by being too ambitious. 

So here goes our Green Living Pact in the Martinez Household:

1. Dad and Mom must be Green Homemakers. This means that my husband and I must manage our home, do housework, prepare food, and other related tasks with deliberate avoidance of wastage and unnecessary expensive purchases. Pio and Ada must cooperate with these efforts specifically with the use of water and electricity.

2. Dad and Mom must be Green Drivers. This will require my husband and I to be more conscious of maintaining our family car and using it with deliberate avoidance of fuel wastage. I actually found some very useful tips about green driving from Carmudi which are worth checking out. Pio and Ada must avoid requesting for extra trips which usually happens when they forget something at home that needs to be brought to school or vice versa. 

3. Pio and Ada must be Green Students. We have agreed that my children need to take more responsibility for their studies as well as the tasks related to it. They promised to limit their use of the computer for school purposes only during weekdays. They likewise promised to impose on themselves certain limits as well during weekends in the name of conserving electricity and my sanity (LOL). They need to spend more time outdoors anyway. 

4. Pio and Ada must be Green Advocates. We are encouraging our children to suggest other simple ways to help us succeed in our efforts towards green living. Dad and Mom promise to listen even to the most incredulous ones. Even if they don't turn out to be practical green living ideas, at least we will have something new to talk about as family.

5. The family must understand the importance of having a Green Home and Lifestyle. We are trying this primarily in the hope that we can be happier and more contented in opting for a simpler life. Green living need not be complicated, after all.

My Say

I have long associated Green Living with something serious and complicated. It used to bring images of sacrifice and hard work to my mind but not any more. They can be simple enough when applied to daily life.

That said, for the sake of my family's well being, I hope we succeed with our efforts. These are small steps to take but one step towards the right direction is sometimes what it takes.

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