We all want to make sure our planet is in good shape for our children and grandchildren, part of making that happen is making sure we are instilling in them habits that are good for the environment.

Here are 5 fun sustainable tips to get your kids started:

  1. Take some time to watch The Story of Stuff with your kids. It’s an entertaining way to introduce the subject of garbage, landfills and our consumption habits. It’s a great way to show your kids how we can all do a better job of keeping trash out of our landfills.

  2. Garden with your kids. Whether you’re gardening in the backyard, on a balcony or indoors, kids love to watch something they’ve planted grow into a plant. Better yet, into a plant that they can eat. This is a great opportunity to teach your kids about healthy soil and how what is in the soil ends up in our bodies. Also, it’s a great way to get them to try vegetables they maybe won’t try before.

    The Soil Science Society of America has a site dedicated to teaching children about soil, to visit their site go to http://www.soils4kids.org/.

  3. Collect rainwater with your kids. Collecting rainwater is not only beneficial but makes for some wonderful teachable moments with your children. Talk to them about the water cycle and the importance of keeping our fresh water clean. You can get a rain barrel from your local hardware store or, the next time it rains, run out together and place buckets or similar containers outside to collect the rain. When the rain is done, use the water for your household plants.

    Many local communities offer how-to classes on constructing your own rain barrels. Check with your city to see if that is available in your area.

  4. Repurpose or upcycle something with your kids. You could make recycled journals (maybe a nature journal) with paperboard and other items from your recycling bin. You could make crafts with clothing you’re getting rid of, the possibilities are endless.

    Check out these upcycling ideas all from one pair of jeans, http://recyclenation.com/2015/05/5-upcycle-ideas-for-summer-style.

  5. Get your kids outside every day. There are so many reasons to get your kids outside on a daily basis like, according to the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), outdoor play builds healthy bodies, raises levels of Vitamin D and “improves distance vision and lowers the chance of nearsightedness.” Need more reasons? Check out the NWF’s article at https://www.nwf.org/Kids-and-Family/Connecting-Kids-and-Nature. Getting your kids outdoors and connecting with nature gives them a lifelong appreciation of our planet and puts them on the road to being good stewards of it.