When you look at the world today, it’s vastly different from the one in which we grew up, in several ways. One of the biggest areas of change is most certainly the environment. While our parents didn’t have to worry much about environmental risks, the story is different for us. And because of this, it is crucial that we take steps to safeguard them from such risks. It can be something as simple as keeping them away from the chemicals in processed food, to something more complex, like advising them about the hazards of second hand smoke.
Having said that, as your child starts growing older, it is equally important for your child to be more aware of his/her environment. As complicated as the subject may sound, you’ll find that it is possible to raise environment-conscious children – the change has to begin at home, and it has to begin early. Here are 10 simple tips to raise environment conscious children who’ll grow up to be responsible world citizens.
10 Tips to Raise Environment Conscious Children
1. Encourage a love for animals – Encourage your child to bond with animals so that they have a natural respect for all the creatures of this world. Take them to the zoo or teach them to take care of street dogs, by feeding them. Keep a pet at the home if your family can manage it.
2. Interact with nature – Help them interact with nature, in an effortless way. Take them outdoors for nature treks or nature camps once in a while.
3. Start a Garden – Plants don’t just purify the air, they also improve the mood. Help your child find time to nurture- nature’s best gift- of flowers and plants. Encourage their green thumbs by setting up green spaces within the home.
4. Plant trees – Planting trees is an activity that is also good physical exercise for kids. Join organizations as a family, and get involved in planting saplings in your local area.
5. Conserve water and food – Teach your children not to waste food and to preserve water. Show them how these are essential for survival and need to be cared for.
6. Recycle waste– Make recycling a habit in your home. Teach kids about bio-degradable practices and how to segregate organic and non-organic waste.
7. Maintain Cleanliness – Right from an early age, teach your children to stay clean and to maintain hygiene in their surroundings. Teach them to throw trash in the bins and not on the road.
8. Join Camps – During summer and other holidays, let the kids join camps that involve them in community activities pertaining to nature directly and closely.
9. Go natural – Use natural products at home, especially when it comes to skin care and household products. Let your children get acquainted with natural resources and chemical- free products from the beginning.
10. Grow your own food – There is nothing like eating the food you’ve grown and kids can also experience this feeling. Encourage them to grow their own vegetables and herbs – this will also ensure better nutrition.
As with everything, it’s important to practice what you preach. Kids watch everything we do very closely, so if they see you separating the trash, taking your own shopping bag or harvesting rainwater, they’ll be more likely to do it themselves. With the right training and education from the start, we can be confident of raising environment conscious children who’ll carry these valuable lessons into their adult lives.
Nimish Kenia is the co-founder of Happy Planet which offers a safe, controlled and supervised environment for children and young adults to have fun and bond with each other. Launched in 2010, Happy Planet, in its eighth year of operations today, has centers in Mumbai, and Pune now – at the Phoenix Market City at both locations.