We often hear that it’s important to preserve the environment for future generations. One of the most powerful ways to do this is to involve those future generations in the process! Teaching our kids to appreciate the gifts of nature encourages them to continue the efforts to save our planet’s resources and preserve its beauty for many more generations to come! There are some simple ways you can share the importance of our natural world with your own family.
Make Exploration a Family Habit
One way to help kids fall in love with the natural world is to make exploration a family habit! Hiking together, camping, or even just visiting nearby parks will create loving childhood memories that are all possible because of nature and the great outdoors. At least once a week, find the time to visit somewhere wild.
Learn About Nature Together
When you’re exploring with your family, you’ll often come across a bug or plant you’ve never seen before. If you can, take a photo of it and research it together when you get home. You can also learn about the local flora and fauna before you go outside, and talk about them during your adventures! Have a family competition to see who can identify the most plants on a hike, or who can name the types of animals that might live in a certain environment. When you’re not outside, you can read books about nature together, too. If one of your kids is really excited about something they’ve learned, encourage them to share with you, even if you’ve heard it before.
Live A “Leave No Trace” Lifestyle
Something that is urged by every national park ranger is the idea to “Leave No Trace.” Your family can adopt this mentality everywhere you go! What does “Leave No Trace” mean? It means that you pick up after yourself and clean up litter where you see it so natural areas aren’t affected by human waste. It also means to make no damage to nature such as picking flowers or taking home souvenirs. It means respecting wildlife and caring for their habitat. Why is this so important for life beyond your camping trips and hikes? If you apply the “Leave No Trace” mentality to your actions throughout your life, you’ll see how you can adjust the way your family lives to improve the environment. Kids learn an important lesson of respecting the Earth when they are taught to Leave No Trace!