How Can We Teach Our Children About The Importance Of Sustainability?
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Sustainability is important, and progress is being made in people’s understanding that we need a healthy planet to be healthy ourselves. Thankfully, the youth of today are more environmentally conscious than ever, as they realize the world they are going to live in will be one affected by the decisions of today.
For this reason, while our children might not be in a position to make any changes, to protest, or to decide how to live their lives without our supervision just yet, it can be good to empower them towards understanding the need for sustainability, and where they can, curating a healthy approach they can take towards the future.
Climate change is a big topic and it’s important not to scare your children with false narratives or over-exaggeration. Your child won’t respond well to doomsday thinking or any hysterical beliefs we might sometimes want to apply in response to the difficult levels of plastic in the ocean and the fact that rainforests are being chopped down at record pace.
For that reason, a measured approach should work best. Here’s some ideas:
Help Them Fall In Love With Nature
It’s harder to tell a child that they should focus on caring for nature if they feel little affinity to it. It might seem that loving nature is a simple and basic part of growing up, but for children in busy suburban areas, or those that spend little time outside and more time playing on their games consoles, they can be more disconnected than you might imagine. Taking them out, helping them see areas of natural beauty, introducing them to farm animals on farm tours and beyond, or even living rurally, all of this will have a massive effect. Exposure to nature is almost always going to curate a love of nature.
Show Them Your Home Upgrades
Normalising the practices you utilize in order to get the most out of sustainability, why you do that, how it helps, and also, perhaps the money it can save you (although they won’t need exact figures). For instance, if they see you proudly installing solar packages onto your roofing system, then they will no doubt understand just how versatile and practical sustainability choices can be, and the huge effect just one family can have.
Take Them To Sustainability Drives
Getting children involved in community activities can be eye opening. For instance, it might be that a protest over fracking is taking place, so show your children why that’s taking place and the effect of their voice, even if you don’t attend in person. A sustainability drive might also be community-led, as in recycling clothes for those less fortunate than you to use, or raising money for the local flower show which reinvests funds back into the environmental health charities governing your area.
How do you teach your children about the importance of sustainability?
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