03 Aug Five tips to teach children to take care of the environment
Instilling environmental awareness in children will make them take better care of the environment as adults.
Experts point out the importance of educating children to take care of the environment. If good practices and memories associated with the environment are internalized as children. It will be easier for them to become aware of their care when they are older. For this, adults have the responsibility to teach the smallest ecological values and habits. This article proposes five tips that will help you achieve it.
Raise Awareness With The Support Of Everyone Close To You
In the task of raising children’s awareness, parents are the protagonists. But the results will be better with the support of their close environment: family, friends, teachers… The educational center, where children spend much of their time, can adopt Agenda 21 for Schools. Thanks to this United Nations program, schools become more sustainable, and environmental education is instilled among its participants.
Educate Yourself By Example
Children need to understand that their life depends on the environment
Children learn by imitation, especially from the people around them who they consider to be role models. Therefore, environmental education begins with ourselves. If the little ones see us throwing waste on the street or in nature. Or leaving the lights on or the taps running unnecessarily, they will do the same.
The awareness work must be constant, daily, with patience. Advice or guidelines that the child should acquire must be repeated as many times as necessary. Instead of punishing bad ecological behaviors, it is preferable to reinforce and reward good ones. The child will internalize it as something positive and it will be better recorded for the future.
Children have to understand that their life depends on the environment and that if it is not taken care of, they will not be able to breathe, drink water, eat, dress, etc. In addition to how you have to explain to the child why. If he is taught that when washing his hands he should not waste water and only use the necessary amount of soap, he should be told that water is a scarce resource that we depend on.
Teach Practical Green Habits
You don’t have to become an environmental activist or professional to care about our environment. In our daily lives, we can assume some simple ecological habits that, in addition to helping to care for the environment, save money:
Water and energy
Turning off the tap and not overusing the shower, or turning off appliances or lights if they are not in use, are basic habits that children find difficult to internalize. When a light bulb burns out, you can go with your child to buy a low-consumption one. And explain the environmental and economic advantages of saving electricity.
Whenever possible, private cars should be avoided, go everywhere on foot, even to school, thanks to the tedious systems. If it is not possible, the bicycle is an economical and ecological mobility system (with which you can also do routes with children ) or you can travel by public transport.
Food waste causes a significant environmental impact. For this reason, it is very important to instill not only healthy but also ecological nutritional values. Such as not throwing away food, eating local and seasonal products, or avoiding products with excessive packaging.
Reduce, reuse, and recycle
The rule of the three Rs is a basic ecological consumption habit according to which the most important thing is to reduce the use of resources, then reuse the products to extend their useful life and, once the product can not be used anymore, recycle it. Being infatuated with many things is easy. But it has an economic and environmental impact, so you have to consume responsibly. Toys can be shared, fixed up to the last longer, made at home from recycled materials, or bought secondhand. You can also place some colored containers at home so that children learn to differentiate waste and recycle it.
Relate Them To Nature
A large part of the children live in urban environments and do not have that direct contact with nature, necessary to know the importance of taking care of it and verify the consequences of bad habits. Whenever possible, go to nature with them, walk, go on excursions, play outdoor games, etc., to enjoy it with respect (avoid littering, not making fires, etc.) and even with more active behavior, such as planting a tree. The psychologist and philosopher Heike Freire. The author of the book ‘Educar en Verde, argues that children need a bit of daily “savagery” (staining their hands with mud or climbing a tree) and that they cultivate more of their innate tendency to the “natural” (hear the birds, see the flowers, investigate,
When you cannot go to nature, it is advisable to at least go to an urban park, a green area, a botanical garden, etc. Another option is to ‘bring’ nature home and take charge of a potted plant or even a small urban garden, which can be started at your school.
Suggest A Culture Of Environmental Content
Educational resources have diversified and we must take advantage of them so that children have more knowledge about their environment and know how and why they should take care of it. Environmental content can be found in various formats, from the most classic children’s and youth books to the most modern video games.
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