From increased pollution in urban areas to rising sea levels to climate change, there are plenty of reasons to be concerned about the state of the planet’s sustainability these days. Short of splurging on a Prius or living off the grid, many attempts we make to clean up the earth may feel like they verge on futility. There’s an easy way to ensure the continued health and survival of the planet and the people who call it home: teaching the next generation to respect our Earth.

Luckily, kids are eager learners. If given the right tools, they are poised to become environmentalists—potentially the ones who save the planet in the long run. If you’re eager to teach your kids to respect the planet and make it a safer, more beautiful place for generations to come, try these easy, eco-friendly activities on for size:

Top 5 Ways to Get Your Kids to Honor the Environment

Candice Shaffer of Urbana Properties, 100 Franklin, Manor Riverwalk, One Dalton, 181 Fremont, and The Kent.

Plant a garden

Your kids may have a vague idea of where their food comes from. But it’s unlikely they have a good understanding of the supply chain that gets it to them. If you want to make your children’s lives more eco-friendly by cutting out the diesel fuel, farming byproducts, and other pollutants involved in getting their food to them, planting a garden is an ideal activity.

Not only will it be fun for them to spend some time digging around in the dirt, but they’ll also quickly learn to love tending to their plants and enjoying the delicious rewards of the fruits or vegetables they’ve planted.

Start a compost pile

There are two things kids love without fail: worms and dirt. Combine these two ubiquitous childhood interests with some environmentalist instruction by starting a compost pile with your kids.

Get a bin, some dry leaves, soil, and worms, and let your kids marvel as they watch the whole mess—including the scraps from their meals—turn into usable soil.

Replace energy-inefficient appliances

Kids adore getting to do seemingly grown-up tasks. They’lly’ll love helping you replace energy-inefficient appliances with newer ones. From going to the store to pick out new appliances to screwing in LED bulbs at home, these upgrades are a fun way to teach your kids about energy consumption.

Recycle old items

While your kids may know that you recycle paper, plastic, or metal items, odds are they don’t realize just how many items in your home can be recycled—or how to do it. Make a fun family activity out of recycling electronics with a trip to a local recycling center. Or take old textiles to a local dropbox or a store like H+M that recycles and repurposes them.

Make a birdfeeder

Give your kids an up-close-and-personal means of discovering just how beautiful nature can be by creating a unique bird feeder together. Cover a pine cone in peanut butter, roll it in birdseed, hang it from a tree. Then spend the afternoon birdwatching together, taking notes on which kind of birds come to feed.

Getting Your Kids to Honor the Environment

Luckily, all it takes is a few fun activities with your little ones to get them on board with minor changes that can make a significant difference in the long run. So start teaching those budding environmentalists now. You never know what kind of changes those brilliant minds could bring about in the future.

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