Human beings begin to explore their environment even before they are able to crawl and speak. A basic definition of environment is simply the natural space around you. And it is very easy to teach kids about the environment because they are so ever eager to learn about everything in the world.
Since some children may have limited opportunities to discover and interact with their own natural environment, forming positive lifelong values that promote environmental awareness are very important.
Educators and researchers have also found that children who become physically involved with the natural environment around them also develop mentally, socially and physically quicker than their environmentally ignorant peers. Fortunately, wherever you live in the world, teaching your children a healthy attitude concerning the environment can be done inside the home as well as outdoors.
Teach your children to flick off the light switch when they leave the room. Then explain to them how natural resources are used to create the energy that provides electricity. This can lead to an explanation of why doors and windows to the outside world are kept closed so heated or cooled air will not escape.
Creating either an elaborate or simple garden gets your children physically involved in their environment. There are children’s herb gardens which take up very little desktop space indoors, or you can plant tomatoes and other frequently eaten and easy to grow vegetables and fruits outdoors. Explain that by growing your own food, you can ensure that no pesticides are used in its production, helping both the environment and your family’s health.
Shopping at thrift stores creates an entire discussion about the process which fuels that industry. By using clothing and other man-made goods as long as possible, the environment not only benefits, but the economy as well. And the money generated at many thrift stores often goes to a good cause.
Children of all ages love watching movies, so use one of their preferred media consumption activities to teach environmental awareness. WALL-E is is a wonderful film about a trash-collecting robot set in the future. Earth is covered in garbage, made uninhabitable through man’s poor environmental practices. And Fern Gully: The Last Rainforest is a child’s favorite which uses animated fairies to teach about conservation and the dangers of pollution.
Recycling programs are sponsored in many cities, and teach your children about positive environmental cycles. Show your kids how you can use jars and other containers as drinking glasses. Disposal of banana peels, apple cores and other naturally decomposing waste in a compost bin, and then teach your children how to use the resulting product as fertilizer, either in their garden, or to plant flowers.
And simply walking or biking instead of driving will not only help you get fit and healthy, but it also teaches your children you practice what you preach when it comes to environmental conservation and awareness.
These are just some of the ways that you can start teaching your kids about the environment. There are definitely more ways than this and you and your kids should create any possible opportunities to get together, learn and explore about the environment together!