How to teach children to be eco-friendly can be difficult in general, let alone during the festive season of Christmas.

Christmas is a great opportunity to teach younger members of the family some environmentally positive habits to help the world around them.

As part of its brand new Dirty Delivery 2021 Report, – which reveals how online shopping habits can contribute significantly towards the global carbon footprint.

The personal finance experts at have compiled the following tips on how parents can teach children to be eco-friendly and introduce some carbon reducing behaviour to kids this festive season:

Encourage kids to give back

In the week or so leading up to Christmas Day, give your child a cardboard box and ask them to empty any unwanted toys they no longer play with or clothes they no longer wear to it.

They can then help you take the box to a local shelter or charity shop in order to ensure the items are reused by others in the future. 

If your child is slightly older, volunteering some of their free time to a soup kitchen, homeless shelter or in a care home during their school Christmas break is also another fantastic way of giving back to the local community, especially if they can travel by foot and reduce their carbon emissions in the process! 

Incorporate festive recycling into your child’s chores 

One way to incentivise your child to care more about environmental causes and implementing green changes is to assign them recycling chores around the home in order to earn pocket money or allowance. 

Put them in charge of collecting, flattening and sorting any recyclable cardboard, plastic or glass that will inevitably accumulate during the festive season, and teach them the importance of the process for the greater good.

Then, come January, let them visit the local recycling centre to see where their hard work pays off.

Shop locally and support small businesses

As the Dirty Delivery Report reveals, more than one in five of consumers who plan to spend less this year than during Christmas 2020 put their decision down to wanting to enjoy a ‘carbon neutral’ festive period.

Christmas shopping with your children locally – rather than encouraging them to order items for delivery from all over the country or further afield- promotes an eco-friendly environment.

It’s also beneficial for them to learn all about the importance of supporting small businesses who can really benefit from sales this time of year.

Educate your children about climate change 

You can teach your children from a very early age about how important it is to look after our environment, and there are some fantastic websites, apps and books for kids of all ages to learn from. 

Young people, now more than ever, are at the forefront of spreading awareness and shedding light on reducing their carbon footprint, so the earlier the education on climate change starts, the sooner children can start doing their bit to help the planet and future generations.

Teach kids how to cook/prepare leftovers so food doesn’t go to waste

There is every chance that many households will over-purchase on groceries this Christmas, and one way to teach your children about the subject of reducing food waste is to allow them to have some fun and get creative in the kitchen with the leftovers. 

There are multiple recipes you can find online for some inspiration, and your Christmas Dinner definitely does not and should not go to waste.

Try whipping up a boxing day stir-fry or fajitas with any leftover turkey, a pigs in blanket pasta bake, or even a vegetable omelette with any leftover potatoes or vegetables you have lying around. 

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash