Waste not, Want not said a wise man and not wasting any kind of resource, be it food, water, clothing, time, money or any other is an important concept to teach a child early on in life. This is important not only for family economics but also because of the ecological impact that our consumption patterns have on the environment and the rest of the world.
However the average American parent doesn’t seem to care much about preventing waste and according to a report from the National Retail Federation, the average family wastes about 15% of all that it buys.
Consider the many reasons to teach kids the importance of not wasting
It makes them more responsible and socially aware when you explain to a child that rather than ordering a big burger and wasting half of it they could order a smaller one which they can finish.
It can be explained to the child that the resources prevented from being wasted in this way makes for better utilization of given resources.
Children can be taught that resources are limited and that although they may have as much or more than they need this takes away from others who may need the same resources.
This teaches them concepts of social justice and about relative poverty as well.
A simple way to demonstrate the importance of not wasting is to explain the concept of a monthly or weekly household budget to a child. Explain that there is X amount of money allocated for Y number of requirements. The more wastage there is the fewer requirements are met; this is a simple concept for even a young child to grasp.
The concept of no wasting can be extended to so many other areas of life and can teach a child valuable lessons in time management. The importance of not wasting time can be simply explained to even a small child – if he or she would spend less time watching TV there is more time to spend at the park.
Lead by example
Consider your purchases and try to exclude senseless and superfluous buying. This includes food, clothing, gadgets, and other stuff.
Remind kids to turn off electrical appliances, to be mindful of using resources such as gasoline and even water on a daily basis by doing the same yourself. Combine chores or walk to reduce driving, don’t water the lawn needlessly, and use the air conditioning only when required.
When it’s time to get rid of stuff, do this in a responsible manner as well: recycle, donate, and swap what you can.