Family Living

Waste Not, Want Not

Family Living | May 6, 2015

With an exponentially growing world population, poised to reach 9 billion people by 2050 (yikes!), the availability of our natural resources is becoming of an increasing concern to those who already inhabit Earth. Food shortages are becoming more and more of an issue, clean water is becoming more difficult to come by, and our earth and oceans are being filled with toxic chemicals and plastics that aren’t biodegradable. With the wellbeing of Earth in jeopardy, the most effective way to affect change is through teaching our children — the future generations — to not waste. Below is a list of simple ways to teach your child to not waste:

Turn the water off when brushing teeth: by simple turning the water off for the 2-3 minutes that you (should) brush your teeth for, you can save anywhere between 3-5 gallons of water. That’s way more than you expected, right? And it’s so easy!

Portion control: when eating, make sure your child understands to only put on their plate only what they can eat — don’t let their eyes be bigger than their stomach. Portion control helps establish healthy dietary practices and can help cut down on the risks for weight-related issues.

Recycle: through recycling, children can take steps to rid our landfills and oceans of the non-biodegradable plastics that pollute the environment.

Don’t Litter: you can’t go anywhere outside without seeing some sort of trash on ground or in the trees. This can be so easily remedied by simply teaching your child to dispose their trash in the appropriate way. The Gardner School of Dublin is making an impact on our environment by making sure that their campus is free of all litter. Check out all the happy campers doing their part on Campus Clean Up Day!

Compost: Composting is a fun way to teach children the value of using things all the way through — like how Native Americans used every part of the buffalo they would hunt. By composting, children can be taught that even things that are generally assumed to be trash can be utilized in a manner that benefits our environment. Any food products can be used for compost, even things like egg shells and coffee grounds

Grow your own garden: This goes hand and hand with composting. Use what you have composted to nourish your garden, and grow (relatively) easy things to care for, like tomatoes, lettuces, carrots, potatoes, apples, and various berry vines. This will also help teach your child lessons in responsibility, and the sense of pride and satisfaction from eating what you grow — your child sustaining the life of something, that is then, in turn, used to sustain the life of your child — is next to none. The Gardner School of Franklin is really helping to encourage their students to plant seeds, teaching them that the world is indeed in our hands!

But above all, the best way to teach your child not to waste is to be a good role model. If your child sees you leaving the water on while you brush your teeth, or leaving food on your plate that just slides into the trash can, then they are going to think that wasting doesn’t matter. But if you stick to wise non-wasting habits, your children can do little else but to follow your example!