Earth is 4.543 billion years old. Caring for the environment is important! Lately, there are more environmental crisis emerging and we humans are the ones facing the brunt of it. It is what we do today that will determine what will happen tomorrow.
Yet it is not enough if we don’t pass on good environmentally friendly habits to the younger generation.
That being said, why should we teach our children to love the environment?
Children are full of wonders. They are eager to learn and are curious about themselves and their surroundings. That’s what makes them much easier to learn and train.
Therefore, if you are a passionate lover of the world we live in, or simply wanting to make a change for the better, then, exposing the next generation to environmental care is one of the ways that we adults can contribute.
Taking care of the environment is a huge responsibility and should be carried by everyone in the whole wide world.
Even small contributions can make a lot of difference in years and years to come.
Nowadays we are slowly feeling the effect of global warming and other environmental issues. Now, a lot of people are beginning to realise the errors of our ways, especially young people.It really is up to us to save the earth for the future as Michael Jackson sings:
“Heal the World”
For our children, the best guidance we can give is by example. Children loves to mirror their parents. Hence, one of the reasons why we have to carefully watch our words and action when we are around them.
Apart from culturing good habits in them, some of these activities can be use as bonding sessions for the whole family. Furthermore, everyone can take part in these activities: from toddlers to grandmas.
Here are some activities and practices that you can do with your family that can help to instill love and appreciation towards the environment, it may save you some on the utility bills too!
1. Get to know the resources.
The first thing you can do is to introduce your child to the resources that they use in their daily life. Show them where it comes from, down to how it reaches your home.
Note: Let them asks the questions no matter how many or trivial the questions be.
For toddlers, you can use this moment to stimulate their senses by allowing them to touch and feel the element.
Expose them to as much natural elements as you can. Currently, we are still facing the pandemic, nonetheless, you can take your children to less crowded outdoor places like your neighbourhood park, or even just a stroll outside your garden.
Show them that not only us -humans- that uses these resources. Animals and plants use them too and we all live harmoniously in the ecosystem.
The natural sounds and textures will help a lot in boosting your little toddler’s brain.
2. Conserve Water
Water is a crucial natural resource that we use every day for a lot of different things in our life. Bernama reported that Malaysians uses more litres per person compared to our neighbouring countries: Singapore and Thailand.
This high demand is causing strain on our water supplies.
Moreover, it was also reported how our wasteful use of treated water may cause more frequent shortage of water in the future. Not to mention, pollutions that are happening to our rivers also increasing the risk of water shortage.
Now, this is something that you can practice at home by action and example.
Train your children to not play around when showering or take long showers. Additionally, if you have a bathtub, try not to use too often as showering saves more water than a filling a whole tub. In the kitchen, watch vegetables in bowls/basins of water instead of letting the water run. You can use that water to water your gardens.
3. Save Energy
Reducing the amount of energy you use daily is another thing that you can do for the environment. By energy, we mean electricity!
Note: Taking some time to relax your mind and body is definitely good for your health.
Make it a habit to turn off and unplugged any unused electrical appliances. Teach your children to do it too and explain it to them why they have to do it.
In fact, it takes a lot in order to generate electricity and the by products from the process of generating electricity can be harmful. A lot of it effects the environment.
Some issues that we are experiencing today such as rising temperatures, abnormal weather pattern, heatwaves, and many more are cause by greenhouse gas emission that was made by power plants generating energy.
If you are training your children to sleep in their own rooms or beds now, you also train them to sleep in the dark. It is not only good for their health but also for the environment.
If your child is afraid of the dark, you can a buy small night light that uses less energy than leaving the room light on.
4. Start A Garden
If you don’t have a garden, you can start one today!
It doesn’t have to big and plentiful. You can always start small. Plant a pot first and let your child join you. It’s okay to get messy and have dirt under their fingernails, just make sure to clean up thoroughly afterwards.
By experiencing this, you are teaching your children that nature is not scary and dirty. Besides, it can also show them that Earth is a living space that we can help nourish and care for.
5. Recycle & Reuse
Make it a practice for your family to start recycling. You can start with a simple segregation of garbage. This can train your children to be more responsible with the things their trash.
Where, how and what they throw away needs to be properly managed. Starting at home from young can turn it into a habit. If every household in Malaysia starts practicing it, this can be a norm in the near future throughout the whole country!
Recycling 101: https://www.wm.com/us/en/recycle-right/recycling-101
Reusing old items and making them into new things is also a great practice to help the environment. You can sit down with your child for this and start getting creative.
Taking part in creating DIY projects can help with your children’s motor skill.
In brief, there’s definitely many more other activities and practices that you can apply in your family’s daily life but most importantly is to make sure your children take part in it as much as you do. Accordingly, it can become a practice that your children can carry on doing until they are old as perhaps pass it down to their children.
Remember, one small step is still a step ahead than doing nothing. Love the environment, save the environment.