Warm and sunny days call for summer vacation planning. And if you are taking your kids, why not seize the opportunity to have fun as a family and teach the values you hold dear? Instead of wasting away at the beach, consider a family camping trip. Sure, you can go to Disneyland and have them swallow chunks of sugary drinks and snacks, but you’ll have a lot more eco-friendly fun together if you take them camping! Have some bonding moments and also teach your kids some green habits. Just don’t let them know ‘they’re learning’. That’s our little secret.

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Nature is our home too

When you spend a few nights sleeping under the stars, it’s easier to realize that the Earth is everybody’s home. Camping with your kids will help them be more comfortable outdoors and stop treating nature as a scary thing that has nothing to do with them. It will feel more natural to care for the environment because, hey, they live there too.

Leave no trace

One of the first things every camper should learn is that boy scout mantra: leave no trace. Or, even better, leave everything better than how your found it. This is about building habits since childhood. No matter how young your kids are, it’s never too early to learn how to pick up after themselves. Get them used to pick up their own trash and everybody else’s too. Teach them to be mindful of where they step and be respectful of local life by not destroying the local environment.

Be frugal

When you are camping, you are frugal by necessity. You are not going to carry around gallons and gallons of water only to waste it. You are probably not going to fill half of your car’s trunk with toilet paper either. You pack exactly what you need and you are careful when you consume your resources. And this is a good philosophy that can follow you back home and you can apply to everything else in life.

Learning is fun!

Camping as a family is a great opportunity to teach your children about their local environment. Teach them how to identify plants, what kinds of animals live around and what to do if they encounter them. Teach them how to build a fire and set up a tent. Let them help with minor tasks. This way, they will realize that learning new things can be part of a fun time as well, and they will be more receptive to other lessons.

Teach them love

At the end of the day, the best way to ensure that your kids will care for the environment is to teach them to love nature. Having a family camping trip and playing with your kids outdoors regularly means that they will grow up loving nature. And we all want to protect the things we love. And when they grow up and have their own kids, they will take them camping as well. The cycle will continue, and maybe we’ll make the world a better place in the process.