The issue of environmental sustainability is among the most important at this moment in history. We are facing the consequences of climate change caused by human activities, and we must do what we can to protect and respect our planet. On the one hand, it is important that institutions and companies do their part to try to change the current development model; on the other hand, it is essential that each of us do our part.
That is whyrespect for the environment explained to children cannot be underestimated. They represent the future, the next generations who will inherit our Earth. By giving the right value to environmental sustainability, we will be able to form a generation that is more attentive to this issue, one that will be able to respond to all the challenges we will face in the coming years.
All this translates into a new and different sensitivity. For the new generations, environment and development will have to go hand in hand. That is why precisely from those who are children today may one day come new ideas and great revolutions ready to change our lives.
That is why this article was born, with which we want to share with you some ways to involve children in respecting the environment...and we know very often children are better at it than adults :).
The value of sustainability
First, let's start by trying to illustrate to young children what the value of sustainability is, and why it is so important. We can do this by trying to explain in words they can understand why we need to protect the environment today, and how this can affect our own lives.
One suggestion is to start with the term ecology and what it means for children, which is actually quite simple to illustrate. What is meant by this term? Ecology is the science that studies and analyzes the relationship between living things and the world around us. Starting from this concept we can explain how we are not alone, but rather we are part of something much larger, involving all other living things, both plants and animals.
Once the key concepts are made clear, it is important to eliminate any doubts that may have arisen, so we recommend asking children if they have any questions, or any curiosities. Perhaps a day in the countryside can be ideal to illustrate these issues live.
After that we can opt for documentaries on the subject, which can illustrate both the importance of sustainable development and what the consequences of superficial, non-eco-friendly behavior are.
Once the theoretical phase is over, we can move on to the actual activities. Fortunately, there are many eco-friendly behaviors for children that we can teach, starting right from the everyday routine.
For example, travel can be made greener by trying to take a bicycle as much as possible or by walking or public transportation. Using cars less is crucial for the future, and it makes us less dependent on fossil fuels. We can use the bicycle to go to school, or to go for weekend rides, perhaps exploring our own city or for a good picnic in the countryside.
Speaking of picnics: this can also be an opportunity to teach what sustainability is all about. After the picnic we should leave the environment as clean as we found it, which is why we avoid using disposable products, such as single-use plastic. In fact, we can take the opportunity to clean up the lawn, bringing gloves and bags with us. In recent years there has been a new way of jogging, known as plogging, where we exercise while clearing the path of garbage, so as to make our cities cleaner.
Finally, we suggest some gardening, to teach kids how to care for plants.
Respect for the environment explained to children cannot fail to illustrate all the green behaviors that should become part of our lives. In every moment of the day we can demonstrate our concern for sustainability.
As we mentioned in the previous paragraph, it is important not to use single-use plastic, preferring items that we can reuse over and over again. This also applies to items that we no longer use: better to give them away and give them a new life than to scatter them in the environment or let them accumulate in landfills.
Teaching children not to waste resources is equally crucial. One example is the water that many people let run unnecessarily, such as when brushing their teeth. Better to turn the tap off and on as needed than to waste such a precious commodity.
Separate collection is now active in many municipalities, but even if it is not present in your locality we recommend teaching its principles within the home. We can start by sorting at least glass, to be placed in the appropriate bins, plastic and paper.
In addition, many suggest that we start reducing meat consumption, to lessen the burden of demand on the market and reduce the impact of livestock farms on the environment.
With small everyday gestures, we can make the big revolutions.