My Number One Green Tip for Raising Globally-Conscious Green Kids!

Rebekah Green,
Posted on Wednesday 15th September 2010

How can we really teach our kids to be responsible citizens and thoughtful contributors to a bright and sustainable future? As far as I'm concerned, the pivotal point of this concept has nothing to do with composting, carpooling or having them put their toys away when they're done playing with them. Of course, while those are all the types of personal responsibility and eco-conscious lessons that you want to impart, when it comes to truly modeling the most important eco-conscious habits that will stick with them for a lifetime, the key has everything to do with teaching your children to simply connect to common sense, common courtesy and their own sense of propriety and fairness.

I think that the bedrock of building a healthy family, a connective community and a sustainable Earth lies with placing our energies into raising the next generation in a way that connects them to how good, fulfilling and correct it feels to help others and balance out inequity around the globe. In short, any kid would be able to understand that it's not fair that they get clean drinking water and millions of other children just like them must drink and bathe in toxic, poisonous, filthy water. Putting the focus on these kinds of issues may still not be the most popular idea on the media and television around us – it seems that the unbridled display of extreme narcissism and overindulgence is still the number one show format of choice – but if we choose to weave the fabric of our families around the principles of generosity, compassion, education and action, all of the world's challenges can be solved.

Having been in the eco-conscious field for many years, I've had the opportunity to watch information, perceptions and products evolve so much that I've realized that the green movement is actually that - a movement. Green consciousness is a constant work in progress, and, as a society, we are constantly becoming more aware of what is happening around the world and how evolving technologies and increasingly-informed approaches can solve problems and heal communities more effectively and efficiently. Yet, we are often searching for more solutions and still don't have all of the answers.

Given this, my style of giving suggestions on raising conscious and productive kids is not to prescribe a list of tips and tricks – honestly, that can be Googled with the click of a mouse – but instead, I prefer to ask families to first go deeper. I like suggesting that parents simply take a moment to stop what they are doing – stop spastically trying to be perfect, trying to know everything and trying to do everything just right – and instead, take the moment to breathe deeply and connect with his or her own heart and inner sense of inspiration. I've discovered that if I do this myself, I'm quickly reminded of how much of a feeling of peace descends upon me from this shockingly easy practice. Not only do I feel instantly calmer and clearer nearly every time, but a smile will also spontaneously spring from my lips and I feel joyful. If you try this breathing practice and experience the same thing, as I genuinely expect that you will, that feeling of contentedness will likely move you into a genuine state of generating your own fresh ideas about how to be healthier, greener and more present in your life and for your kids.

The motto "less is more" not only works brilliantly for a gorgeous make up application, a classic and fashionable wardrobe and a spot on accessorizing technique, but it's also the cornerstone of creating a joyful and contented life and a healthy, greener world. Less chaos equals a happy family, and less STUFF equals a sustainable planet.

Once you've used this incredibly effortless practice and experienced how surprisingly powerful it is, it's time to show your children how to practice the same thing for themselves. Demonstrate for them how to find a moment of calm, take a deep breath, connect with their compassionate little hearts and feel their inner joy. It's so incredibly simple and it really only takes about 30 seconds! Yet, this practice is that powerful because, at the end of the day, feeling connected, centered, content and clear is everything that's worth protecting on this planet anyway! Then, the natural result of feeling nurtured from our own sense of wholeness is to seek opportunities that bring comfort and peace to others ... as opposed to feeling obsessed with chasing after another Yu-Gi-Oh card, a bigger house, a faster car or another video game – despite the infinite wisdom of our favorite television shows.

Acting as a model for your kids in these ways – by tapping into our authentic source of happiness – is about the greenest parenting choice that you can make. The positive result of that kind of guidance will be felt around the globe in ways that you can't even predict. Positive vibes like those grow in multidimensional and infectious ways. With this foundation, kids will instinctively know that their family's efforts in composting and cleaning up after themselves FEELS like the right thing to do from the inside. They will become protectors of the planet from the inside out and won't be tied to a fixed "to do list" of green-ness. This is the best plan of action for now and as we move into the future, because our efforts as responsible stewards will most likely need to change over time. But as the ever more compassionate and thoughtful people that we are and are raising our kids to be, our families will truly be ready to make the intuitive choices needed to bring greater balance to our planet ... and all with a smile on our faces!

Rebekah Green is a Green Expert, Green Builder, Green Designer, and Green Lifestyle enthusiast who is an avid believer that social consciousness and environmental responsibility should be 'business as usual.'

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