All of us today know that sustainability is the need of the hour. We owe this planet a lot, and we must strive to preserve it before it gets too late. In contemporary times, peculiar environmental problems and global warming, and climate change threaten the future of our planet. Needless to say, with the planet at risk, the future of mankind is also in grave jeopardy.
Are we ready to pay such a hefty price for our irresponsibility and ignorance of sustainability? Our unchecked actions today put our future generations at the risk of devastation. So, if there was ever a better time to think about and promote sustainable living, this is it.
As cited by Statista, the earth’s surface temperature has risen by almost 1 degree Celsius as compared to the 20th century. The volume of arctic ice is depleting while floods, storms, and droughts are becoming more prevalent. Besides, the overexploitation of natural resources has left little for the future. Given that, it is vital that you resort to sustainability and also teach your kids to inculcate the virtues of sustainability in their personalities and habits.
Of course, schools will teach them about the environment and environment-friendly practices. But you can also play a pivotal role in making your kids more responsible towards the environment. You are their first and most beloved teacher, after all. We have to work for sustainability in unison. We have to support each other, educate each other and inspire each other. Educating kids on sustainability is crucial to the future of this planet. In this post, we look at the various ways in which you can teach sustainable living to your kids.
- Create awareness around the notion of sustainability
It all starts with creating awareness and understanding around a notion. Sustainability, climate change, the consequences of global warming, and so on may be difficult for kids to understand. So, the first thing you ought to do is be aware and educate your kids about these phenomena. They need to know what challenges the world is facing and how sustainability is a progressive response to these challenges. Discuss issues like climate change, ozone depletion, ocean acidification, and so on with them. Try to learn their perspectives and make them more curious to know about these issues. Curiosity is the best teacher, after all!
In addition to what they learn at school, you can add to their knowledge of sustainability. This also includes knowledge of the risks associated with the neglect of sustainable practices. Kids should also know about the Sustainable Development Goals for children set by the United Nations. You can further assist your children to be a part of the successful completion of these goals. You have to inspire them to believe that sustainable development is the most prosperous way of development.
- Model sustainability for your kids
The actions of parents have a significant influence on the development of children. A part of your child’s habits and attitude will be the reflection of your persona. Given that, you have to set fine examples of sustainable practices for your children. For instance, when your child sees you switching off the lights as you move out of the living room, he will learn from it and follow it. This is one of the countless sustainable practices that you can model for your kids.
To cite another example, you can turn off your car’s engine when the traffic lights are red. You should also educate your child about the benefits of doing so and how such small efforts can keep the wastage of natural resources under check. Daily, inside the house or outside, you have to keep setting the benchmark for your kids. Your staunchness for sustainability will have a positive impact on your children’s perspectives. This is your chance to become a fine leader!
- Create a small kitchen garden
You can also create a minuscule kitchen garden in your backyard if there is not one already. You can then engage your child in caring for the garden along with you, and this way, you can make him more responsible. This love for gardening, planting, and watering plants will incite an environmental conscience in your child. This is a natural and effective way of making your child romanticize sustainable practices.
Learning to care for a small garden will lay the foundation for falling in love with the environment. Everyone’s future depends on sustainable development. Let your child be the hero who motivates others to be more sustainable and responsible. For that, you have to back his abilities and keep finding new ways to stimulate sustainability.
- Encourage recycling and reuse
Recycling and reuse are among the simplest yet the most important practices of sustainable living. When kids learn to recycle and reuse things to the best of their abilities, the wastage of things and resources can be reduced. It is ironic that to support the modern lifestyle of contemporary times; people have little respect for recycling. People are rather happy to discard and dump the old and keep buying new items regularly. This, however, is a significant environmental challenge that needs to be addressed.
To teach your child sustainability in its truest sense, you need to teach him about recycling and reuse. ‘Less is More’ is the idea that you should promote among your children. For that, you can create recycle bins at home and educate your children on the difference between recyclable and non-recyclable waste. You can reuse old things to create artifacts and other usable items to endorse the prowess of reusing things. Of course, everyone likes the idea of buying new clothes, new toys, and new stationery. But for sustainability to thrive, you have to inspire your child not to indulge in unnecessary wastage of things. In addition to making your kids learn good study habits, you also need to teach them some meaningful life lessons.
- Binge watch with your kids
Binge-watching is in vogue these days! Sometimes, students learn the best from movies, documentaries, and web series. From Netflix to Youtube, there is inexhaustible content on climate change, global warming, and sustainable development. Learning from some sci-fi movies that shed light on the risks of environmental neglect makes learning fun. So, the next time you plan on watching a movie with your kids, let it be one of these insightful movies or web shows like 2012, No Impact Man, The 11th Hour, and so on. Education and virtual reality is anyway a blend that will define the way forward.
Children need to learn the cause and effect relationships of environmental issues. They need to learn about the hazards that can loom tomorrow if we do not act responsibly today. Visual content is engaging, and learning via modes of entertainment can have a long-lasting impact on children. Given that, you can make it a routine to watch one such movie or web show once a week. While it will give the family to bond well over binge-watching, it will also inculcate meaningful learning and curiosity into your child’s perspectives.
To conclude, the planet is already running a race against time. We have sustainable development goals to meet before the deterioration of the environment becomes irreversible. Henceforth, the stakeholders of tomorrow, the youngsters and the children, need to be groomed to love the planet and care for it. Teaching them sustainable practices from a young age hence becomes essential. None of us can defeat or mitigate the environmental risks alone. It will take a cumulation of small and localized efforts to make a real difference. Together we can, and together we will protect the fate of the planet.