How to Raise Environmentally-Conscious Children
In today’s tech-savvy world, making children connect with nature can be a challenging task. There are a lot of things one needs to focus on like education, social development and responsibilities. But, somehow we forget to acknowledge our beautiful planet and really take in our surroundings. On this World Environment Day, make it a point to teach your children the importance of a clean and healthy environment. It is necessary that we make our kids aware of the environmental issues and their responsibility towards making the world a better place.
Following are some ways to make your children value the environment more:
To teach children the value of nature, it is important to make them interact with their surroundings more. Take your kids outside on a daily walk around the park, visit a greenhouse and make them familiar with the wide variety of plants and explain to them how and why they are important for our survival.
Little things like packing a waste-free lunch, using cloth napkins with dinner and carrying a handkerchief instead of paper tissues can make them learn a powerful lesson. To get your kids more inclined towards these activities, you can get them reusable lunch boxes and utensils featuring their favourite characters. Also, encourage them to consume organic fruits for snacks more often.
Teach your children what materials can be recycled and how to segregate waste properly. Have them put yoghurt containers in the plastic bin and old homework or waste paper in the paper bin. Make them familiar with reuse activities like cleaning out jam jars and reusing them as drinking glasses, reusing empty paper towel rolls in school projects and turning plastic tight-fitting lid containers into under-sink compost bins. This will make them familiar with sustainable living.
Buy a plant for your kids and make them learn to take care of it. You can simply start with window-box herbs and give them a section of your backyard to grow different plants and vegetables. This can be a fun activity for them to learn how plants need sun, water and soil. You can involve them in cooking the harvest and make them understand the whole process.
You can also take your kids to a compost garden and make them learn how the worms can decompose waste.
Make it a habit to turn off the water tap while brushing and bathing and keeping a water cup near instead. Teach them about water-saving gardening and show them how they can water a garden or lawn properly. To make them remember to turn off the water tap while not in use, you can present them with reward stickers or small treats.
When a room is not in use or when you are going out, there is no need of keeping the lights turned on. Make kids understand the importance of saving power and have them turn off unnecessary lights or gadgets when not in use.
To make your kids aware of the importance of donating, take them with you to a donation camp or teach them the importance of sharing one's good fortune with others. Make them sort out the things they don’t use anymore, and encourage them to donate these items to someone who can use them more efficiently.
Get your children acquainted with environmental books, movies and shows that depict the consequences of destroying the environment, in a way youngsters can understand. This way, they will realise the importance of the issue more intensely and will remember it for a long time. You can also download apps and eBooks and have lively conversations about the environment with them.
Not all trips need to involve cars. Teach your kids about the effects of too many cars on the environment, and encourage them to walk or bicycle over short distances. Frequent car travel to nearby places is an unnecessary waste of fuel and impacts our surroundings and the environment adversely.
Clean roads and public places have quite an impact on our health and the environment. Your kids might have noticed the litter on the streets and in public places. Teach them to throw waste items only in the dustbin and to keep a spare waste bag while in the car to dispose of garbage later.
Instead of buying them toys that will soon be discarded, take them on camping, rock climbing and bird watching trips. This experience will make them connect with nature more and also make them remember it for a long time. Such trips can be a great way to form a bond with nature and each other.
On this World Environment Day, make it a point to teach your children the importance of a clean and healthy environment.
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