As a parent, you’re probably very well aware of the impact your next generation can have on the future. If you don’t make sure your children learn about the environment know, it may be too late…
A lot of your time educating your kids is spent on different things that you deem essential for their wellbeing.
Some of these skills include:
- Common skills (eg feeding and dressing themselves, getting along with others…)
- New skills (eg learned at school…)
- Life skills (eg be wise with money, cake is not a meal, don’t kill anybody…)
What about teaching your children how to live an eco-friendly life?
The Importance of Kids Learning About the Environment
For the future of the next generations, it’s essential that you teach your children about the impact their actions are having on the world.
They need to learn about the environment and how their choices and actions have consequences that may affect it. It is vital to help them understand the importance of preserving the environment and how they can adopt eco-friendly habits. How do your children play a part in their own future?
By teaching the next generation to see the damage that has already been caused instead of accepting it as ‘the new normal’, you’ll find yourself in a great position to teach them to change their actions.
5 Things Every Child Should Learn About the Environment
1. Water Consumption and Conservation
How much water isn’t wasted down the drain? One of the first things your children should learn about the environment is how to conserve water.
Teach them where their daily water comes from and how they can use it sparingly. They need to understand the relevance of water restrictions and why they’re put in place.
Help your children to understand:
- What drought is and how it impacts the population.
- What happens when we don’t have enough water.
- How to save water on a daily basis by taking simple actions at home (eg washing hands with the plug in, short showers, washing with full loads, collecting grey water for the garden).
- How to keep up to date with local water restrictions and following the guidelines.
- How much water it takes to raise one head of cattle and how reducing your meat intake can help the environment.
2. The Growing Landfills Impact the Environment
Rubbish and landfill are not the nicest topics to talk about. As such, they’re often treated as an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ thing to avoid.
But neglecting to teach your children about the devastating impact landfills have on the environment, is a bad mistake.
You need to teach them that once rubbish is thrown in the bin, it doesn’t just disappear. It actually goes into the earth!
Tell your kids about the amount of waste that cannot be recycled and how it ends up in landfill. Explain to them that many products that can be recycled will never be recycled due to an overloaded recycling system.
Doing this will help children to understand:
- The need to use more eco-friendly products
- To up-cycle and reuse items
- To be conscious of buying fewer objects made of virgin plastic or non-recyclable plastic.
How can you teach your children about the impact of landfills? Here’s a great experiment you can do with them.
Bury a non-biodegradable (eg baby wipe) item and a biodegradable item (eg cotton washcloth) next to each other in the backyard. In a month from now, go back to that place and dig up the items. The difference will amaze your children!
There’s nothing like a practical experience to help your children learn about the environment.
3. High Electricity Usage
Okay, teaching your young children about carbon emissions and the like can be challenging. But, you can make it a lot easier by explaining them the impact little things can have on our environment.
Remind them that turning the lights off when not needed, will save electricity. Keeping windows and doors shut to keep the heat inside will allow the heater to take ‘a rest’.
If you have older children who use a lot of technology, get them in the habit of shutting down computers and turning off their chargers at the end of the day. Teach them to use rechargeable batteries wherever possible.
All these little things will make a huge difference.
4. Caring for the Environment
Not only are there simple changes you can make to your everyday tasks to preserve and protect the environment… There’s also the task of simply looking after it.
Things your children can learn to start caring for the environment include:
- Don’t litter
- Don’t leave plastic waste laying around which animals may eat
- Don’t damage or destroy plant life when outdoors
- Don’t invade or damage animals’ habitats
Teach your children to lower their impact by walking or cycling rather than taking public transport or driving the car. Set up regular gardening activities each week and watch your children enjoy the fruit of their labour (literally!).
An incredible way to help your kids learn about the environment is to take them to organised clean up days, such as ‘Clean Up Australia’. This will allow them to see firsthand how litter is damaging our environment.
5. Take Care of the Plastic Problem
Last but not least… Teach your children about the increasing plastic problem on our planet. An impact that can be changed simply by avoiding or drastically reducing the use of plastics.
Your children need to know the difference between virgin and recycled plastic products. Talk to them about how the manufacturing of plastic produces chemicals that pollute the air we breathe. They need to understand that plastic in landfills pollute the earth by leaking chemicals into the atmosphere.
Not to mention the dramatic effect plastic is having on our oceans and wildlife! Show your children some images but choose wisely. Some can be quite distressing for little ones. However, don’t shy away from telling them how it really is.
Another great topic to discuss with your kids is the importance of recycling. Tell them about the different sustainable options that are available to us, and why these resources are essential when creating products.
Our children are the future and we want to make sure that the environment they live in is a healthy one. That’s why it’s so important that they learn about the environment and the impact we have on it.
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