“Over the past few years, I have learned that bees are essential to the health of our ecosystem. I also learned they are sadly becoming more and more scarce,” the retired supermodel and wife of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady tells PEOPLE.
“Our family decided to add a bee hive and harvest our own honey. It has been an incredible thing for our home,” adds Bündchen, 36. “It is so intriguing to learn how hard the bees work to make the honey. I love that our kids are seeing and experiencing this first hand. We love to use the honey as a sweetener in some of our snacks.”
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Beekeeping is a family affair for the Bradys, whose youngest members are learning about the importance of caring for life while bonding with each other.
“It warms my heart to see how kind and gentle Benny treats all animals. He wouldn’t hurt a fly,” Bündchen says. “He thinks all animals are his friends. He has a lot of empathy and a strong love for nature.”
Adds the proud mom of her little girl, “Vivi is very connected to nature too. She loves the garden and watching the strawberries grow so she can pick them.”
“The kids spend a lot of their time outside; they love it. It doesn’t matter the weather, we are always finding things as a family to do in nature,” Bündchen explains, admitting, “Staying outside with no shoes or just connecting with nature are some of the most special memories I have with my kids.”
She continues, “The kids play outside most days. I want them to use their imaginations as much as possible. I love that they get the opportunity to be creative and fantasize about different kinds of places and stories with their friends in our yard.”
“We try to limit electronic time in our house, which at times can be challenging,” she confesses. “I believe everything in moderation can work. My preference is for them to read, draw, play music or play outside instead of being in front of the TV.”
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And Bündchen and Brady, she tells PEOPLE, lead by example, explaining what is going on around them to their children while also making sure their home setup reflects their family values.
“I feel the best way to learn is by experience. Children are extremely intelligent, and they watch what we do,” she says. “I do my best to lead by example and not just tell them, but to show them as well.”
“We are mindful of any waste we create in our homes,” Bündchen continues. “Recycle, compost, reduce and reuse when possible. When we grocery shop, we bring our own bags so we don’t create extra waste with even more bags! We have water filters in our home to reduce the [number] of plastic bottles.”
She adds, “There are many little things we can all do, but unfortunately our [environmental] situation is very dire and we need to think beyond the little things. We need to create a movement where more people can become aware of the real challenges we will face. A lot of damage has already been done. At this point, we need to find ways to reverse it.”