As someone building an eco-conscious and mission-driven business, I was recently asked, “How do you teach your children to care about the environment?”
Now questions like this make me nervous as I don’t like to think of myself as any kind of expert—business, parenting or otherwise! I’m just your average Canadian dad here in Saskatchewan, figuring it out one day at a time. Nonetheless, I racked my brain to see if I had anything of value to pass along because of course I’d love for my children to feel that same connection with nature that I do.
Here are some of the ways I hope I am planting those seeds:
Lead by Example
Like my dad, my wife and I try to pick up garbage in front of our children —even when it’s not “our” garbage. Regardless of whose garbage it is, it’s OUR planet and that’s the message we hope to spread to my children through these seemingly small actions. Even little things like opening the door for strangers is a way to create a sense of community and show them how we can care for others.
We love enjoying the outdoors and staying active together as a family. We hope that by taking our kids on outdoor adventures (like playing on a beach, swimming or paddle boarding in rivers and lakes, or playing frisbee and talking walks outside) will connect them to things like fresh air, beautiful scenery and to show nature as a playground worth protecting.
I am learning to keep my mouth shut when we are out in nature so our children can have a calm and peaceful place to do their own thinking. I feel mindfulness is important for kids and adults alike so being able to make space for them to breathe it all in is important to us.
Show & Tell
I try to show my son cool new technologies I see like Tesla updates, what’s happening with solar energy, cool TED talks and so on. It’s awesome because now he tells me about cool things he sees on Daily Planet and sometimes we watch this show together.
I try to show my daughter cool insects and plants and talk about how amazing they are. I probably sound like a broken record but it’s true, nature is awesome.
My hope is that I’ll pass along a sense of curiosity and show them all the innovation that inspires me to create products out of eco-friendly and sustainable materials.
Right now, I believe it’s the best time in human history to create something to make the world better and every night the last thing I say to my son is dream big.
Sharing inventor and entrepreneur stories with him is my way of getting him excited to experiment and to let him know, he too can change the world as long as he puts his mind to it. I plan to do the same for my daughter when she gets a little older.
We say believe in better here at Pela and I hope my wife and I bring that mindset to our family as well. Children pick up on things we don’t even realize. For me it’s important they feel a connection with the outdoors and the belief they can make a difference through creativity, compassion, hard work, perseverance and having fun.
Once again, I am by no means an expert on the subject of parenting, and I still fail and learn on a daily basis, with the hope of getting a little better each day.
—Jeremy Lang | Co-Founder