Since the girls were tiny, we've been teaching them the responsibilities that we have in caring for our earth. Part of why we raise animals and grow vegetables is so that they can see and practice ways that respect and value what we have been given. Hopefully as they see what the land gives to us and what we can give or take from it, they will always want to live in a way that acknowledges their responsibility as stewards of the world.
We also want them to choose to clean up after others and not just themselves. Whether that is by picking up a piece of garbage rather than walking by it or by buying well grown food from a local farmer, we try to be good examples of how to do this. Often as we walk or are at the park, we pick up any bits of garbage that we see. Sometimes, the girls will still say, "but it's not ours." to which I respond that it's still important that we pick it up and I notice that the girls see and collect garbage more all the time (not to worry, we've covered what kinds of garbage shouldn't be picked up!).
One thing that our little
community group does twice a year is to do a roadside clean up of the
section that is our community. This year, although they are technically a
little young still, the three girls came out to clean up a section. In
the quiet part of the evening Kathleen was carried on my back while the
older two held our hands and collected.
While not exactly a nature walk of exploring and enjoying the beauty of creation, garbage clean up is an opportunity to preserve the beauty we enjoy while contributing to the care of our community which makes this an important nature walk to include!
What are some ways that you care for or teach your children to care for the earth?