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3 Easy Ways to teach kids about sustainability


Two children gardening with compost

Kids of all ages are about to start another school year. It's a time to meet new teachers, connect with classmates, and learn new things about the world. While it may be tempting to leave education to teachers in the classroom, helping kids learn at home is important, too.


When it comes to at-home education, parents and caretakers can focus on teaching environmental health and sustainability. While many schools teach basic eco-friendly practices, it's up to you to ensure your child learns about sustainability outside of school.


What is sustainability?

Sustainability is the practice of replenishing any resources we use up or avoiding using those resources in the first place. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has many educational resources available for families, so everyone in your home can learn about sustainable lifestyles.


Teaching sustainability early on is important, especially since it can help children have a positive impact on their environment for the rest of their lives. Plus, it's a great way to bond and learn about eco-friendly practices as a family.


Residential composting is an excellent way to teach kids how to live an eco-friendly lifestyle. Here are some other fun ways to help kids learn about sustainability at home.


How to teach kids about sustainability

Hands-on learning is one of the most effective ways to teach any topic. And although the concept of sustainability may seem difficult to grasp, it's actually much more accessible than you might think.


Bring Personal Cups on Trips

Single-use paper and plastic cups are incredibly harmful to the environment and rarely have a second life after their primary use. But when you bring your own cup to the coffee shop or local store, you can eliminate the need for these wasteful products.


Ask your child to find a cup they want to bring with them for trips. Remind them to bring it with them every time you go into a coffee shop or store, so they can use it for their drink. Once they've gotten their favorite beverage, remind them that they helped planet Earth by bringing a reusable cup.


Sort composting after meals

Composting is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and support local farms like Neighborhood Compost. However, there are some composting guidelines to follow when putting food in the compost bin. Ask your child to be the "compost catcher"!

A bowl of oranges, limes, apples and bananas made with compost

Put up a guideline showing what foods and products can be composted and what foods or items should be put in the trash. After each meal, ask your handy "compost catcher" to tell you which materials go where. This will teach them the importance of composting correctly and help them understand responsible waste practices.


Opt for family bike rides

Even if you have a hybrid or electric car, family bike rides are always a fun way to get some exercise and learn about sustainability. If kids decide they want to go to the park or a friend's house, suggest a bike ride over using the car.


Whether it's a weekend trip to the nearest bike path or pedaling up and down the neighborhood streets, you and your family can bike, scoot, or walk your way to more sustainable practices. And when you're out and about, remind them that biking is a great way to help keep cars off the road, which helps planet Earth.


Plant A Backyard Garden

If you're feeling particularly ambitious about sustainability in your home, you can always start growing your own food. Although fall is just around the corner, this is a great time to prepare your garden for the coming spring.


Bring your kids out to the garden and find a place to grow some easy foods, like tomatoes or green beans. They'll want to learn more about growing fruits and vegetables and will love the hands-on experience.


If growing your own garden isn't possible, you can always opt for local produce grown in New Jersey farms. Let your kids know that the food they're eating came from a nearby farm, and ask them what they would grow if they had their own farm.


Final Thoughts

Practicing sustainability early on is a great way to ensure future generations consider how they're impacting the environment. If you decide to try composting at home, Neighborhood Compost offers various residential composting pick-up services to fit any household size.


We have bi-weekly, weekly, and pay-as-you-go plans. We offer composting in Hudson, Bergen, Morris, Northern Somerset, Passaic, and Hunterdon counties. Additionally, Tenafly County residents can sign up for our pilot composting program that runs from Oct. 1 to March 1.


While teaching sustainability may seem a small thing, these practices can truly make a difference. And your kids will be glad they know ways to change the world for the better. Contact us today if you'd like to learn more about Neighborhood Compost!

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