As our society continues to place a larger and larger burden on the environment, incorporating sustainable living practices in our daily lives becomes more important. In addition to placing a personal emphasis on sustainability, it is important to share this concept with your children.
Importance of Sustainability
Many of these resources provided by Earth like coal, water, and forests are being depleted at dangerous levels. Sustainability is important in ensuring that the Earth will be able to support a good quality of life for future generations. Sustainability also brings communities together for the common goal of protecting and preserving the environment.
Why Teach Children?
Teaching children the basics of sustainability will transform the environment from an abstract concept into tangible projects. Sustainability projects like recycling and gardening will get children outside and exposed to nature which has important benefits. Children will also build problem solving and critical thinking skills when being taught about sustainability.
Ways to Teach Sustainability to Children
Planting a garden of any size is a great way to introduce children to sustainability. Gardening will give children the responsibility of taking care of the plants as well as show them where different foods come from. Sustainable agriculture is an important topic and children will be less likely to waste food once they see the time and effort that goes into planting and harvesting it. If gardening is not an option, try purchasing organic products and explaining the benefits of them.
Recycling is a simple but great way to help the environment by conserving resources, but it may be hard for children to grasp what happens when they throw a plastic bottle in the right bin. To help children understand why we recycle, create some unique arts and crafts with household recyclables or schedule a tour at a local recycling center.
The average person uses a staggering 80-100 gallons of water a day. It can be difficult to understand how much water this really is so start with showing your children just how big a gallon is. Little tricks can go a long way in conserving water and you’ll get the added bonus of a cheaper water bill. Teach your children to turn off the tap while brushing their teeth, shower instead of taking a bath, or invest in a rain barrel to water plants instead of using a hose. For more information, have a look at this water conservation guide.
One of the best ways for children to be more appreciative of the environment is through local volunteering projects. Many nature preserves and parks offer family volunteering where children can help clean up trails, plant native plants, and learn about wildlife in the process. Your children will have more pride in their surrounding area and be more respectful of nature.
It’s never too early to begin educating your children for sustainability and the projects can be fun for you and your children. A few simple steps can help them make the world a better place.
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- The Importance of Teaching Your Children About Sustainability - August 2, 2019