Most of us take our environment for granted. The sun shines, rain falls, trees and plants grow and all is right with the world. But the reality is that the resources of the earth are depleting fast and our global population is growing even faster. While we may see the impact of these changes in our lifetimes, it is our children who will bear the brunt of them as they grow-up in a world full of environmental challenges.
As teachers and parents our first obligation must be to educate our children on how they can they can become a part of the solution. What can they do to help? Here are three key areas that we can talk to our children about – enabling them to start doing their part in saving the planet – making each and every day, Earth Day!
BE POWER SAVERS
This is perhaps the easiest step to take, take your kids for a walk around the house, look for lights and devices that are on or even plugged in even though no one is using them. Devices like phone chargers, game consoles, microwaves, televisions still consume electricity when they are plugged in – even when they are switched off. Encourage them to switch them off when they are not in use. Make it a rule to switch of lights and devices when they leave the room and encourage them with a reward if they do it regularly.
BE CLEAN FIENDS
Being neat and tidy is a fundamental requirement for each child, but more often than not, that obligation is seen to end as soon as you leave the house. Just as a child would be expected to pick up after themselves at home, the same rules apply outside the house. Whether the child is in school, in the park or a mall – make sure that they know the proper way to dispose of trash and why. Nature is a shared resource and it is our job to make sure that we preserve it.
BE WATER GUARDIANS
Many children today see water as something that is readily available when you turn on the tap. But the reality is far different. Billions all over the world live with acute water shortages and face daily struggles to survive with them. Teaching children to respect water is critical. Remind them to turn off the tap when they don’t need it e.g. when brushing their teeth. Encourage them to take shorter showers. If you have a garden, show them how to water the plants without wasting water. Small steps can lead to big changes.
These are just a few steps to get started. There is so much more to talk about with kids, whether it is reminding them that all life is important, or planting a tree in the garden on even creating a herb garden in a pot. Let us all work together to make sure we create a better world for those who follow us.