Teaching children about the environment and getting them involved in protecting the same is crucial to shaping the next generation of the residents of the planet, the protectors of the environment. Research suggests that children who had an enriching experience in nature in their early years develop a love for the environment that they carry with them for the rest of their lives. With the increasing use of technology and children being stuck to tablets and phones all day, it is all the more necessary to take a breather and ask them to be with nature, to make nature an integral part of their life.
But lucky for us, habits are easy to form when a child is young and aged three to five. It is for this very reason that children learn quicker as compared to adults. Mentioned below are five ways in which you can teach children about the environment, help them become environmentally conscious and teach them how to lead sustainable lives:
1. Save Water
Teach children how water is an integral part of the environment and how they should not waste it. This would mean simple actions like turning off the tap while brushing, or putting out a bucket and collecting water in it when it rains. A great way to teach children how to be environmentally conscious is by teaching them to not use single-use plastic bottles and instead insist on using a reusable bottle that they can fill and use whenever needed.
2. Electricity Awareness
Children spend most of their time at home, so it is imperative to teach them to save energy. Teach your kids to switch off the lights and fans every time they leave the room, to not keep the television on if they are not watching something on it or to not leave their devices plugged in for charging overnight.
Teach children about growing plants by taking their help while you plant. It does not have to be an entire vegetable or fruit garden. Begin with easy plants like Aloe Vera, Tulsi and then move to herbs, vegetables and fruits. You can also plant your own herb garden in the kitchen where you grow basil, mint, thyme, and coriander. Teach children to water the plants and observe their growth.
4. Lead by Example
Instead of merely telling them how they can be environmentally conscious, show them how to do so. Show children how you consciously remember to switch off the lights every time you leave the room or how you never leave the tap running. Engage in activities with kids like exercising in the backyard together, walking in the park, watching stars at night or watering the plants. Encourage children to bond with animals, so they respect all living creatures. Take children with you when you go feed the street dogs, ask them to help you refill the bird water feeders. Help children interact with nature in an effortless way where they appreciate all that it offers.
5. Go Outdoors
The best way to teach children about the environment is to be in it, spend time in the environment. Let children explore to their hearts out, fulfil their curiousity and discover all that nature has to offer. If children have questions, answer them in the best possible way and in case you do not know the answers, look it up and then educate them regarding the same. Teach them to respect Mother Nature.
It is our duty towards the future generation to leave them with the resources just as we received them, if not more. We cannot use their share of resources just to satisfy our unrealistic demands. It is our duty towards children to leave them a planet just as we received it, pure and green.
Do your bit and begin early to foster a love for environment in your children.