Introducing Sustainable Living To Your Children
Sustainability is a huge focus right now, and it is our children that are leading the charge. Just look at the power and influence that one little girl from Sweden has gained after she took a stand against the business as usual and decided to make a statement. In 2018 she protested in front of the Swedish parliament, and since then climate strike marches have been held in her honor and due to her influence all around the world, with many of the participants' children just like her.
Parents should not wait for their children to take up the mantle of climate activist. It is our job to teach them and lead them, and with this guide, you can easily start to introduce sustainability and sustainable living to your children.
Grow Your Own Food
You don’t need to sustain your family solely on the food that you have grown, but by simply growing a few fruits or vegetables you can teach your children so much about their food and where it comes from. You can show them first-hand the effort it takes, and give them a sense of pride that just might convince them to happily eat their greens in the future.
It is also useful to focus on a mainly vegan diet, or at least a vegetarian diet, as cattle ranching amounts for 80% of Amazon deforestation. Instead, bring your children to local farmer’s markets, eat seasonally, and try out some of the incredibly vegan alternative meats that have people raving.
Teach Them Home-Economic Skills
A key trait to sustainable living is slow living. It’s okay if you are learning with your children. Dads need to know these, skills, too:
Dress Them Sustainably
The second-hand market is growing, particularly because the stigma of wearing second-hand clothes is wearing away. By getting your kids excited about second hand, and then instilling values about the quality of the new clothes that they buy, you can give them great buying habits that will help them throughout their lives. A great way to teach them these habits is to provide them with a checklist and to research with them before you buy anything new.
What is it Made Of?
Materials are important. Mixed materials are hard to recycle at the end of their life, and often of poorer quality. Man-made materials like polyester break apart in the wash, leading to a massive micro-plastic endemic. Natural fibers, like cashmere, organic cotton (which uses substantially less water and pesticides to regular cotton), linen, hemp, and new innovative food waste materials are biodegradable. They also tend to feel more luxurious.
How Was it Made?
How it was made is even more important. Cashmere, for example, has been linked to desertification in China, where herds total the tens of thousands. When buying cashmere, you need to choose a company like State Cashmere that works with families that have kept the tradition alive for centuries, and who work to provide the best quality cashmere in a sustainable way.
Can it Be Worn With Many Items in Their Closet?
Every time they buy something, it should be done with the certainty that they will wear it more than thirty times. This number, created by Livia Firth, is used to highlight how throwaway our closets have become. Thirty wears is not much to ask for over a lifetime, and yet most garments today aren’t worn more than 7 times before they are thrown away.
Lead By Example
Always practice what you preach, and help your children love the slow living lifestyle as they learn more about the world and the effort that goes into everything they own and use.