Have you been looking for ways to conserve energy and become a more eco-friendly household? The perfect answer might be in your own backyard! Growing your own vegetables in a garden or a greenhouse is a perfect opportunity to teach family members eco-friendly habits.
Here are a few prime lessons for your children that having a garden teaches:
1. Gardening teaches responsible recycling.
Compost your fresh garbage. Vegetable trimmings, fruit peels, coffee grounds, egg shells… These things belong in your garden’s compost, not your kitchen trash. Creating your own all-natural compost pile means that there will be no added chemicals, which is gentler to your soil. And ultimately will result in healthier plants. Do avoid meat scraps or adding anything too fatty in substance to your compost. Reusing your kitchen scraps shows your children how to recycle thoughtfully and in an earth-friendly way.
2. Gardening encourages thoughtful, earth-friendly gift-giving.
A basket of fresh herbs or tomatoes. A glorious pumpkin or hot peppers for the spicy-food lover. Having a garden means that when a special occasion arises that requires a gift exchange, you can give green. And if you have an automated light dep greenhouse, then you can be growing and giving throughout the year. This is beneficial in two ways: You avoid a consumer trap of getting a present that will likely be tossed. You show your children and friends the delights of having a garden.
3. Gardening provides children with a non-electronic activity.
Kids need time outdoors. But perhaps you want them somewhere you can keep an eye on them? A garden is the perfect place for you to send your kids, while also providing you with extra hands to take care of some chores. Vitamin D, which you get from sunlight, helps the body absorb calcium. A lack of sunlight and vitamin D can result in rickets in children.
Aside from that, you know they spend too much time on their electronics, right? So a little time in the garden should help to balance out another of your parenting concerns. The more time they spend outdoors connected to the earth, the more their respect for the earth and the treasures she provides will grow.
4. Taking care of plants teaches your children responsibility.
Before kids are ready for a dog or some other pet, why not see how well they do with taking care of one plant? Even if they don’t do so well at first, taking care of plants provides a wealth of great lessons on responsibility that are essential to learn. For example, showing them what happens to a plant when it doesn’t receive water teaches that all actions have consequences. These are lessons that will help your children learn to feel responsible for taking care of our environment. And the added set of hands will help you when it’s time to weed.
5. Gardening nurtures respect for all living things.
Respect is another great result of your family spending time in your garden. Nurturing a plant to help it reach its greatest potential takes time. When children see the amount of time and care that goes into the tomatoes they have with their lunch, they will be less likely to toss them aside. As your children spend time out in the garden with you, this is the perfect moment to teach them about nature facts they are interested in. Encourage their curiosity. And if they ask a question that you are not familiar with, then look it up together afterwards. The more your child knows about the life cycle of plants and the larger eco-system that we are all part of, the more respect they will have.
Raising responsible and earth-friendly citizens is easy when you have a garden in your backyard. But for those who do not, there are window gardens and indoor boxed gardens that can provide the same opportunities. Happy gardening!