In these days of global warming, environmental awareness is an important skill that children should have. Besides, teaching them about the environment, Indian parents must realize that children also learn by observation.
First put them in practice yourself. Then tell your children about them and give them the responsibility of monitoring these actions. They will really like the responsibility. And as always when they point out a mistake you made, acknowledge it and correct it. This will complete the learning cycle as they see that you practice what you preach. With this method, not only will they learn about environment friendly actions at home, they will also learn to give constructive feedback.
Here are a few eco-friendly actions that can help the earth and teach our children about protecting the environment.
- At home, setup specific places to gather newspapers, plastic and glass. Teach your children to accumulate these materials in those places. Even if you cannot take them to the recycling shop, your maid or driver will gladly take them and will be happy for the extra income.
- When you go out or travel, and use plastics, it is hard to find trash cans, leave alone recycling bins. Keep a large plastic bag in your car and put the recyclables in it. Bring it home and recycle it.
- If you have scrap around the home, like plastic pieces, and other tiny plastic or wood knick knacks, give them to your child with some glue and a piece of cardboard. Ask her to have fun sticking the pieces together or on the cardboard, using the glue. You will be surprised how much fun she will have and how creative the result will be.
- When stores give you large plastic bags, bring them home and store them carefully. Ask the kids to help you store them away. Reuse them when you need to.
- Give children recycled printouts, or point them to white spaces in newspapers, when they need to draw something for fun.
- Do not run the water in your sink, while brushing your teeth or when dad shaves.
- If you go to a store to buy something you can easily carry, ask them not to put it in a plastic bag. Carry it to your home or to your car in your hand. This works even better if you have small items that your young ones can carry. They will love the importance given to them.
- Similarly, if you go to the icecream store to bring icecream home, ask them not to put plastic spoons in the bag. You can use your spoons at home.
- Teach children to turn off lights and fans when they leave a room
- Take walks with children to nearby locations and explain to them that you are walking because it is good for the body and it saves petrol/diesel
- Most indian toilets have flushes with two different buttons to control the water used. Teach children when to use which - the small button for the "small one" and the big button for the "big one"
- Older children will understand the difference between CFLs and regular incandescent lamps. Use CFLs as much as possible.
- If you have a garden, check the weather forecast before watering it. Get your children involved by asking them to check if there are dark clouds nearby.
- Older children can be encouraged to participate in local city cleanups in the parks and beaches etc.,
We are sure there are many other environmentally friendly things we can do as parents. Our children will keep learning valuable lessons as they see us practice good environmental habits.
Have more tips? - Please add them as comments to this article.