Did you know, today is World Environment Day? As global warming seems to have taken a back seat to another crisis over the last few months, we thought it important to give a little reminder on the impact we have on the planet today. According to data published by the University of York, air pollution has been improving since we started living in lockdown; particularly in major UK cities like London, Birmingham and Cardiff which show drops of a third to a half in both tiny particles and nitrogen dioxide. However, life is sloooowly starting to get back to normal, which means we must continue to do our part for the environment if we want to make a real impact. Today, we’re sharing some ways you can get your children involved too.
Although a nicely wrapped gift can make a big difference on a birthday or special occasion, you could try keeping these to a minimum to help teach children the value of fun experiences over material things. A birthday picnic or trip to the seaside will work just as well for little ones as birthday 'presents'. Bear in mind that many children’s toys are made from unsustainable materials and may have a short life span. At JoJo, we have some more sustainable alternatives:
There are so many fun ways for you to get creative as a family by upcycling items that you would usually have thrown away. At JoJo, we love the idea of recycling old or outgrown wellies into plant pots, using egg cartons to grow seeds and turning plastic bottles into bird feeders. These are all easy activities to do with little ones, and you can teach them all about why you are re-using the item rather than throwing it away as they have fun.
Recycling is something we all do, but are your children aware you have a recycling bin in your home? It’s worth checking they do, explaining what can be recycled and why it is important to do so. Filling them with fun facts is a good way to keep them curious and interested in what they should recycle or throw away. Here’s your first fun fact: Recycling just one aluminium drinks can will save enough energy to power your tv for 3 hours!
About one third of food in the UK is thrown away. Teach your children the impact of wasting food – when it goes in the bin, it’s then taken to landfill where it rots and produces gases that are harmful to the environment. Not to mention the production that goes into making the food and getting it to your door/ local supermarket. Get them excited about re-using leftovers by asking them what else you could make for lunch tomorrow out of the food you have left. You can also teach them good habits like turning off the tap when brushing teeth, turning off lights when you leave the room or the sun is shining, and each having your own reusable water bottle.
One nursery had the brilliant idea of encouraging children and their parents to collect three pieces of rubbish from the street on their daily walk and put them in the bin to do their bit for the environment. This is a lovely idea to teach children to care for the planet we live on and make them aware of contamination. You could take your own bag and wear gloves if you’re worried about germs. Sadly, it will probably only take you five minutes to find a couple of empty bottles and a crisp packet if you live in a busy location!
What’s your little one’s favourite sustainable activity? Let us know in the comments below!
Learn more about JoJo’s sustainability efforts