It’s not that people nowadays purposely set out to destroy the Earth. We’re just lazy. We’ll do our assignment tomorrow if it means Facebook right now and we’ll do the dishes later even if it means cockroaches will start appearing from dark corners in the house we weren’t even aware we had.
So, the goal is to motivate kids at a young age because in the end, they’ll be running this deteriorating planet. The most effective way to get them to participate in eco-friendly activities is to give them an incentive, praising them in abundance when they do the right things and impress upon them, without scaring them mind you, that the world will explode if you do not take care of it!
The reality is that kids care a lot more about rewards than about the Earth. So to slowly immerse your kids into an eco-friendly lifestyle you can use a rewards system.
Remember those star-charts you only ever see in movies and those nauseating how-to-be-a-great-parent books? Well, it’s time for you to adopt them because as cliched as it sounds, a kid will do anything for a gold star. Oh and here’s a plot-twist… make it an Earth chart instead.
A row for happy Earths and a row for sad Earths. It’s pretty self-explanatory. But make sure you give them a happy Earth only because they’ve done something eco-friendly and not because you want them to be quiet while you try and keep
up with another Kardashian.
With the Earth chart, you need sad Earths and happy Earths. When they’ve done something that could potentially lead to us all moving to Mars because this planet’s become useless, put a sad Earth on the chart. It goes without saying, if they’ve done something eco-friendly, you put a happy Earth on the chart. If they achieve five Happy Earths you may give them a reward like a candy. They may either cash in those happy Earths for a lolly or maybe save up another five happy Earths to be able get a toy. Twenty happy Earths could lead to watching a movie or going to the beach. The point is to give them something to work towards.
A few things to give happy Earths for:
- Turn off the tap while they’re brushing their teeth
- Turning off the light when they leave the room
- Turning off the air-con when they leave the room
- Bringing boxes or material bags for your parents when they go shopping (because yeah, it’s hard to remember when your three-year-old is screaming “I WANT TO RAINBOWDASH MAMA”)
- Using both sides of the paper to practice being the next Picasso
- Walking or taking the bike to school
- Not wasting toilet paper (No, Daniel, it is not eco-friendly to wrap the house up in toilet paper!)
Earth charts are a fun way to promote eco-friendliness, and whether they want to or not, they’ll slowly become more aware of the Earth’s needs. All these happy Earth evoking activities will soon become a habit and in the end, you’ll have one eco-friendly child!