Teaching children about environmental sustainability can make all the difference in preparing them to take care of our world. It isn’t enough to just tell them to recycle and not litter, they also have to be shown how it’s done.

1. Recycle as a family.

Doing things as a family helps kids commit these moments to memory, so when teaching about sustainability, this is the best approach to take. Use separate bins to sort recyclables. This can be made easier on kids by labeling the bins with words or pictures so they know where to sort their items.

2. Pick up litter

Go on a walk with the kids and pick up trash along the way. Make sure to bring a trash bag for a place to put it and gloves to keep your hands sanitary. This can be done in their neighborhood, at the park or even on the school playground.

3. Reuse items for homemade art

Children can use tin cans, old buttons, milk cartons, creamer containers, toilet paper rolls and any other household item that would normally end up in the trash can. Other common reusable items for crafts include empty soda bottles, old newspapers or magazines. Give them scissors, glue, paint, crayons or whatever else they’d like to use for creating a masterpiece.

4. Read books that teach about the earth

There are many children’s books out there that teach about sustainability and the earth. From why it’s important to practice environmental sustainability to how they can do their part, there are books for each part of the topic.

5. Use a compost bucket

Teach children about the benefit of a compost pile and what it is made up of. Then, create a compost bucket for the children to use. Monitor the bucket and add to it each day.

6. Plant a garden together

By planting their own garden, children will be able to eliminate the need to have food brought to them. It teaches them to provide for themselves, sustain the earth, eat organic and tons of other benefits.

7. Use rainwater when possible

Have children choose a container to collect rainwater in. Once the container is full, use the rainwater to water plants or fill a water table.

8. Plant a tree

While not every yard has space for a tree that will one day grow to be 15 feet tall, there are trees of all sizes that children can choose from. Since plants, especially trees, provide oxygen for us to breathe, planting a tree of any size is highly beneficial. This is one of the best ways to teach children about environmental sustainability.