We live in Portland, Oregon. Home of some of the most environmentally conscious people on the planet. Caring for the earth and it’s natural resources is just something we do, but it’s something that must be taught to the younger generation and it can start at an early age.
Even though our daughter is only 15 months old, there are already many ways that we are encouraging her to care for the environment — and for the things that we can’t yet teach her, we model.
8 Ways We're Modeling and Teaching Our Daughter To Be Eco-Friendly
Click through to see how we’re modeling eco-friendly living for our daughter and teaching her to do the same!
Planting a garden
Planting a garden is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and allows us to teach our daughter how to grow her own food, which is good for the planet and will hopefully encourage her to eat more fruits and veggies since she grew them herself.
Wearing clothing more than once
Kids get dirty so lots of laundry is kind of a given, but whenever possible we try to dress Fern in the same clothes more than once before washing. If something gets dirty we’ll obviously wash it, but if there is no visible wear, we just fold it up until the next time she can wear it. We also do the same for ourselves.
Much of the decor in our home is repurposed and repurposing is something that I really want to teach my daughter to utilize as she gets older. I want to teach her to look beyond the obvious purpose of an item and figure out new ways to use it. For example the “bookshelf” in her room is actually an old crate that I found. This is a great way to encourage creativity AND caring for the earth simultaneously.
Donating and sharing our used items
We love hand-me-downs and we love sharing our hand-me-downs with others. Some of my favorite items in Fern’s closet were previously worn items from friends and we share all of the baby gear and clothing that we can to not only help out our friends and their children, but also to be good stewards of our resources. We also buy a lot of gender neutral items, like pajamas and socks, so they can be used again for any future siblings Fern may have.
Using animal products has a large impact on our environment, so it’s important for us to reduce this impact whenever we can. We recently became chicken owners and are raising 18 (yes…18!) and teaching Fern about them as we go, so she can learn to appreciate the value of raising your on food and knowing where it comes from.
Teaching her to turn off the lights
What kid doesn’t like turning off the lights? I’ve started picking up Fern and letting her flip the light off when we leave a room. I want to start teaching her early how to conserve resources – especially when they’re not in use. Plus, she loves turning off the lights – I’m pretty sure she thinks it’s a fun game.
Driving efficient vehicles
Obviously our daughter is too young for us to begin explaining the concept of fossil fuels and how to be more eco-friendly about using them, but we will be modeling this for her as she grows by driving efficient vehicles. For us, this means buying used vehicles and making them run as efficiently as possible. Swapping out a gas motor for a more fuel efficient diesel motor and reducing how often we drive places.
Teaching her to recycle
Fern LOVES throwing things away in the garbage, but I am already beginning to show her that while some things go in the garbage can, other things must go into the recycle bin and I point her towards the proper receptacle. She loves throwing things into the recycle bin!