Children have the future in their hands, but that future is in a world with increasingly finite resources.
With all the news about climate change, pollution, and other phenomena that negatively impact our
planet, it is now the younger generations’ burden to make the world a better place to live in. To help
mold that better future, parents in Singapore need to start raising children who are mature, responsible,
and empathic toward the world and all its inhabitants.

In line with this goal, parents must take on the duty of teaching the importance of long-term collective
action to their kids. It’s true that their school and its educators can help your child better understand the
impacts of people’s actions on the environment on a global scale, but you can take this awareness
beyond the classroom and start teaching them at home as well. To help you in this journey, here are
some ways you can teach your child to start shaping a more liveable and sustainable world.

How to Teach Your Child Environmental Responsibility

Start with Small Habits

The first step to instilling eco-consciousness is by practicing small habits at home. For example, teach
your kids that water is a precious resource that needs to be conserved. Remind them to close the tap
when they don’t need running water, such as when they’re brushing their teeth. Get them to always
turn off the lights and other appliances or gadgets when not in use. To avoid food waste, teach your kids
to put their unfinished food or drinks in the freezer or fridge.

At school, your child will have the opportunity to bring these small learnings with them and to set a
good example to other children. Whether your child studies in a local MOE school or in an international elementary school in Singapore, they are also likely to be inspired by their teachers to participate in
activities that will inculcate the importance of protecting the environment. These can include a school-
wide recycling effort, an art competition involving reclaimed materials, an essay-writing contest about a
current environmental issue, or something else. Encourage your child to join these endeavors, which will
further instill in them awareness of the importance of environmental conservation and sustainability.

Implement Good Waste Disposal Practices

Adopting good practices as a family is a good way to get your child used to these habits. Implement
waste segregation practices at home and sort your trash based on categories like paper, plastic, glass,
and biodegradables such as food waste. Ask your child to help you classify waste categories correctly
and reward them with a snack or toy for doing a good job.

How to Teach Your Child Environmental Responsibility

Introduce your child to items such as reusable plastic containers and lunch bags to help them get to
know about the concept of reusability. If you have a garden, you can create compost from your
biodegradable waste such as fruit and vegetable peels, egg shells, and leftovers. You can turn it into a
fun science experiment that will show them how the soil naturally decomposes biodegradable materials.
Beyond practicing good waste disposal at home, you should get your child to keep practicing proper
waste disposal outside. Teach them to throw their trash under the right segregation bins and to hold on
to food wrappers or food containers until they see a trash bin where these can be disposed.

Start Recycling Projects or Donate Unwanted Items

Once you have accumulated enough recyclables at home, you can start a DIY project with your child.
Search for kid-friendly recycling projects online that require non-biodegradable materials such as plastic
bottles, glass jars, toilet rolls, and cardboard boxes. Good recycling practices not only teach your child
that not everything has to immediately go to the trash, they also boost your child’s creativity by allowing
them to think of new uses for old things.

In addition to recycling, you can also donate unwanted or unused items to those in need. Encourage
your child to choose their donation items on their own. Instilling this habit will help them avoid
overconsumption and hoarding later in life. Besides that, this will teach them an important lesson about
sharing what they have with those who have less.

Spend Some Days in Nature

Despite being highly urbanized, Singapore has a wealth of green spaces that you and your family can
visit for a quick immersion in nature. Schedule a trip to places such as parks, conservation areas, zoos, or
nature reserves to make your child appreciate the beauty of nature.

Other than that, going on frequent nature trips also does wonders to your child’s health and cognitive
functions. Studies show that exposing children to nature early in life leads to better mental health in
adulthood. Consider doing activities like camping, riding your bikes, throwing and catching frisbees,
walking your dog, or having a picnic in the great outdoors to get your child to look forward to every
family nature trip.

Get Them to Do Outdoor Chores

Gardening is a simple way to teach kids basic responsibilities. Designate an area in your garden or
apartment where you can grow plants, preferably those that are easy to maintain. Make plant-growing
more fun by planting seeds and watching them grow together. Assign responsibilities such as watering
duties to make your child feel like they have an active role in growing the plants. If you’ve chosen to
grow herbs, fruits, and vegetables in your garden, you can also get your child to help you harvest these
fresh produce and to prepare them for the family dinner.

Additionally, environmental consciousness is about taking care of animals as much as conserving the
planet. If you have a family pet, give your child small responsibilities such as feeding them or filling their
water dish. If appropriate, you can also help your child build a bird bath as a project—or help them plant
flowering shrubs where bees can collect nectar. In this manner, you can highlight the importance of
taking care of animals, including those in the wild whose habitats need to be protected.

Provide Entertainment about the Environment

Good storytelling can help deliver information about the environment in a more palatable and digestible
way for children. To this end, try exposing your child to books, cartoons, TV shows, documentaries,
movies, and other types of content that teach respect for the environment while providing kid-friendly
entertainment. You can also have them use age-appropriate apps and video games, which tend to be
more interactive forms of media that can teach the same lessons.

Be an Example

Lastly, the most important part of teaching eco-consciousness is to lead by example. If you want to raise
a more environmentally caring child, you need to show them that you care just as much by being
mindful of even your smallest actions.

Encourage your child to ask questions, especially when your actions don’t align with what you taught
them. Remember, children will bear the responsibility for our planet. Taking proactive steps to teach
them while they’re young means that you’re contributing towards a better, more sustainable future.

How to Teach Your Child Environmental Responsibility


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