Teaching your children about the environment can get seem like a daunting task if you’re starting from square one. They will have more than a few questions (since when don’t they have question!?), and you will need many answers to their inquiries. Taking it one step at a time and teaching them slowly but surely will result in your children respecting the environment as they grow.

Here are a few ways to help teach your kids to respect the environment.

Plant a tree

Planting a tree can allow your children to not only understand how plants grow, but you can also take this as a chance to explain how trees produce oxygen and why we need them. It will teach them responsibility as well. You can have them help pick out the tree and learn about what trees are best for your environment, as well as help plant and care for the tree as it grows.

Planted oak tree
Image courtesy of CAFNR.

Start a compost pile

Composting is a fantastic way to respect the environment. Teach your children that the less you throw away, the more energy you save. When you throw something away, you are using a plastic bag that won’t decompose. The garbage truck has to take it away, using fuel and creating pollution. In addition, landfills can only hold so much and they take away areas that could be existing living environments for animals. By composting, it will again teach responsibility, but it will also teach your children about helping to reduce pollution and energy usage. It gives you a great fertilizer for a garden, which is another amazing way to teach your child about the environment in so many ways!

Upcycle and repurpose

Rather than tossing your recyclables in the bin, why not see what else you can make with them first? There are plenty of ideas online for this, but you can also allow your child to come up with things that they find useful for themselves. For bigger items, you can create a “recycled sculpture” with them. This is the perfect opportunity to talk to them about reusing and repurposing things rather than disposing of them when possible.

Use hiking as a research opportunity

Hiking can be a good way to show your children just what nature has to offer. Especially if you live in the city, getting out in the woods and into the fresh air is always good. Before you go out, have your child do some research on what they might find, so that they recognize things along the way. Have them bring a journal and draw some items they see to look up later. There are so many new experiences that your child can have while hiking, and new things that they will see. The best part? It’s usually free.

Image courtesy of Loren Kerns.


Volunteer work is another great way to get your children involved in helping and respecting the environment. Whether it be picking up trash in local parks, or aiding in landscaping areas of parks or the neighborhood, many cities have options for volunteer work for the local environment that also helps the community. You could even get one going yourself. If you contact a local school, there will be plenty interested in getting a project together for the kids.

How do you teach your children to respect the environment?

Feature image courtesy of Loren Kerns

By Chrystal Johnson

Chrystal Johnson, publisher of Happy Mothering, founder of Green Moms Media and essential oil fanatic, is a mother of two sweet girls who believes in living a simple, natural lifestyle. A former corporate marketing communication manager, Chrystal spends her time researching green and eco-friendly alternatives to improve her family's life.