Planet gives have always been a personal favorite of our family. One of the reasons I started 365give with Nic in 2010 was to teach him the importance of our planet, how we interact with the environment, and how we play a critical role in the health or harm of nature. He got it on our first planet give, and has gravitated toward planet gives ever since. If I started to do people and animal gives, he would remind me the last time we did a planet give. To this very day, Nic is a champion of the environment and has generated habits from our very first days of giving that respect and take care of our planet.
Kids love the outdoors, and love experiences. Planet gives are a great way to combine a give outside, within your neighborhood, and engage them in the natural wonders of planets, trees, public spaces, the ocean and little bugs. Planet gives also have kids looking around to see how others are protecting and preserving the environment. I think we have all experienced the awkward questions (always said very loudly) Why did that person just litter? Why is that person drinking from a straw? Why is that person buying water in a plastic bottle? Why do people have so much garbage? These very loud questions are less awkward than we think. It actually lets us intervene in a dangerous environmental habit that someone else has done and provides an opportunity for a young one to complete their daily give. By no means would I want people to litter to create daily gives for others, but Nic has been great at creating the ripple effect when he picks up someone else’s garbage right in front of them.
So how do we teach kids the importance of the environment through our daily gives? What daily gives creates awesome habits for them?
10 Daily Gives That Teach Kids About the Planet
- Pick up garbage. Anywhere you are. I always have an extra plastic bag in my purse or in the car or on our bikes for this very reason.
- Recycle at home. Our kids love to recycle and actually race each other to the recycle glass, plastic, paper and food scraps. They also love taking these items to the recycle depot and helping to put the right items in the right area. If they find something out of place, they put it where it should go.
- Go for a walk. It is easy to put everyone in the car and go to the store, but why not walk? Walking is good for the planet and for each of us.
- Let them ride their bike to school or ride together. Once a week, ride bikes to school. Save on the carbon emissions.
- Do environmental art. For your next art project use recycled materials that are in your recycled garbage. Or use fallen leaves, sticks, rocks, anything you can find in your backyard or in the park that is not living. No sense in buying new paper, new art supplies when there are a whole lot of things in your garbage or garden perfect for an art project.
- Use cloth or material bags when shopping. Forgo the plastic bags, and use bags that either you have made, or that can be used over and over again.
- Birthday Party Give- At your kids next birthday party ask for seed or planet presents and have the kids plant these as a party activity. These truly are gifts that keep on giving. If you dont have a garden, plant the seeds and give away the new plants as gives to others.
- Start buying second hand clothes with your kids. When they outgrow them, donate them back. In the US, 15 million tonnes of clothes hit land fills each year. In the UK, 300,000 tonnes of clothes hit landfills annually. Canada contributes 12 million tonnes of clothes to landfills. Second hand or gently used clothing is a great way to help our planet.
- Turn off the lights and use less water. Simple habits like turning off the lights, stop running water as we brush our teeth, learning to wash the dishes differently so we don’t waste water, will help our planet. These are great daily gives for our children.
- Lessons on food waste. Whether we are peeling an apple, or throwing away uneaten food, food waste is important to pay attention to when it comes to our environment. Find new ways to use left overs, encourage your kids to eat every part of their fruits and vegetables, or find innovative ways for them to get used to foods they would rather through away. Food waste is the third largest culprit for methane gas in our environment. Read 101 ways to make good use of your food waste
This list can get you started but there are so many planet gives you do on a daily basis. If you kids are like mine, they will remind you that you have missed doing a daily give lately. Mix up your daily gives and use these suggestions for your planet gives! For all you Canadians out there, Happy Environment Day tomorrow! June 5th is environment day so plan your planet give from this list.
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