Posted April 22, 2014 by Gabriel Posternak

Teaching Younger Generations to be More Eco-Friendly

On this Earth Day we wanted to take a second and think how we can inspire younger generations that in fact are going to be the ones that make decisions in the future. While most every youngster is aware of the importance of reuse and recycle, he or she may not really get it at all. If reuse and recycle is not put into practice, then it might just fall by the wayside.

There are many ways to teach the younger set how to be more eco-friendly.

Education

Information is knowledge and knowledge is power. If your school does not have an eco-friendly program, see what you can do to get one started. There are hundreds of organizations just chomping at the bit to come down and speak about saving the environment to the younger crowd.

If your high school does not have an after-school environmental program, do some research and see what you can start. Perhaps you live near a river or lake and you can incorporate that theme into a new after-school program for teens.

It All Starts at Home

It is very important for your youngsters and even teens see you being environmentally conscious. If they do not see you practicing what you preach, then recycling and reusing may be ignored.

Have recycle bins set up in your kitchen or garage for paper, plastic, aluminum, and glass. Let your kids see you switch out LED lights for holiday lights this year and energy-saving bulbs throughout the home.

If you have younger children, a perfect way to get the message across is to visit the library. The library is full of programs, but more importantly picture books of seals and polar bears that are endangered will leave a bigger impression on them to take action.

Incentives

Let’s face it, everybody loves a good incentive. Find some type of creative way to reward your youngster or teen for shutting off the lights when they leave the room or for remembering to put the recycle to the curb. Explain to them that saving energy always means saving money and the more money saved, the more to enjoy something else, like an extra day off.

Give positive praise for a job well done to smaller children as they thrive on positive reinforcement.

When it comes to incentives, everybody has a bottom line.

Emotionality

If you must, play to your children’s sympathetic side. There are so many commercials, stories, and television programs that highlight the saddened state of affairs of endangered species such as the polar bear.

Make a point to show these to your children. In addition, even better, show your children video clips found on social media of the destruction being done while we are all guilty of not being more environmentally friendly.

These are just a few examples of how to teach the younger generation to be more eco-friendly.

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