Yesterday was Earth Day; a day that was first celebrated in 1970 and is now recognized in over 193 countries. On this day we rally together for the environmental cause to remind ourselves that we only have this planet to survive on and we must do all we can to protect it. While this is a very noble cause, unfortunately most will celebrate it on that day and forget to respect our mother nature on the other days of the year. How can we value our earth on a daily basis and most importantly, what can we teach our kids on the importance of the environment?
1. I state this in almost every article and I will do so again: reading books. Books either directly about nature or indirect with a nature’s setup will open our children’s eyes to its significance.
2. Teach your kids on how to conserve energy and minimize water wastage by pointing out these incidents around the house. For example, tell them that we must always turn off the lights when we leave a room, we must turn off the water if we do not need it, and we needn’t throw paper aside when we can use them until they are filled.
3. Spend time outdoors by hiking, camping or enjoying a picnic. Allow your kids to experience the serenity and beauty of nature and to respect all its creatures.
4. Teach them not to litter and be quick to point out those who do to help them understand why it is wrong and that they shouldn’t end up throwing garbage in parks and on the streets.
5. Scout out local happenings related to the environment such as trash picking campaigns and participate, or if your kids are too young you can take them and have them watch while you and the community help clean the shores or forests.
6. Recycle at home, separate the trash and encourage them to do the same. You can also set aside plastic bottle caps to donate to specific NGOs who use them to create for instance wheelchairs.
7. Plant seeds in your garden if you have one, and if not purchase a small plant and have your children water it daily and watch it grow.
8. Put an artistic spin on recyclable items and create collages, crafts, sculptures and anything your child can imagine into reality.
Our children will be the ones who inherit this planet, and to ensure its continuity, it is essential that we teach them the importance of preserving it while they are young. By trying our best to lead by example while helping them understand why we are doing what we are doing, they can follow our actions and be shaped into environmentally friendly adults!