Why should you teach your kids to care about the environment? It's important to do what we can to help protect our world; humans cause so much damage that we are responsible for putting it right. Start your kids off early on the environmental path. Here are some ways to teach your kids to care about the environment …
1. Growing Things
One way to teach your kids to care about the environment is by getting them involved in growing things. It's astonishing how many kids grow up knowing nothing about how food is grown - or even where what they eat comes from. Give them a patch in the garden for them to tend, or get them involved in your vegetable garden. They'll love to see their efforts turning into something they can eat.
2. Caring for Pets
If you have a family pet, get your kids to help care for it. Give them a job such as walking the dog if they're old enough, or feeding it. Even small kids can help clean the animal's cage or serve its food. Show them that animals have needs that must be met, and that having a pet involves responsibility and work.
If you live in the city, your kids can still learn about the environment. Take them on a trip out of town. Lots of gardens and environmental projects run workshops for kids. Even a simple walk in the country or park can show them lots about nature. Get them to identify species or take photographs. And teach them to respect nature by not causing any damage or harm.
The best way to learn about nature is, of course, to get out and study it. But even indoors, your kids can learn new facts in a fun way. This page from the Natural Resources Defence Council (nrdc.org) has loads of links for your kids to follow, which have games and fun ways to learn.
5. Around the House
Practical examples can help your kids understand about the world. Explain to them about the garbage we create, and what damage it causes. Show them all the ways in which they can help the environment even in their own home. Teach them about recycling, turning off lights, and conserving water, and why this is important. Giving them jobs to fulfil, so they can see how they can help.
Teach them about how we waste resources. How much garbage does the average family generate? How much water do they waste? You can relate this to the developing world; for example, people scavenging from rubbish tips and having to walk miles to collect drinking water. That way, your kids will learn that we must act responsibly in how we consume natural resources.
It's often said that we are breeding a generation that never plays outside and spends all their time indoors playing with devices instead. If your kids are prone to hanging around indoors, show them how much fun they can have outside. Encourage them to see the world outside as a fun place where there is much to learn.
Every new life means that we are producing more people who all need food and shelter, and also cause a lot of environmental damage with their activities. It's vital that kids grow up aware of their responsibilities towards the natural world. Without that sense of responsibility, the environment will suffer even more harm. What else do you think we can do to help the environment?