Updated: Jun 8, 2021
We often talk about how humans are increasingly polluting the environment & the need to be more environment conscious for the sake of our kids' future. With horror stories of clean-water shortages, melting of glaciers, every monsoon seas throwing back the garbage we conveniently trashed and coastal cities on the brink of submergence in the near future, haunting us, how many of us actively take steps to adopt a sustainable lifestyle? Very few!
Being environment conscious doesn't necessarily mean leading a zero waste life. It means understanding the repercussions of our actions, what fulfilling that ‘want’ will eventually result in, keeping our consumption patterns in check and sorting our priorities from the very beginning.
Here are some simple practices you can follow along with your child to sensitize them towards environment conservation while learning some important life skills.
Crafting for fun - Kids learn what they see. Using everyday waste like packaging boxes, egg cartons, pistachio shells, coconut shells, used papers, torn fabric and turning them into crafts - as a form of play, is the simplest first step we can all adopt.
Problem Solving and creative thinking - “Crafting from Waste” not only helps the environment but is a unique way of developing creative thinking and problem solving skills in your child. All it demands from you is some time out of your schedule to help your baby plan and ideate.
Kindness and Compassion - Simple acts like planting a sampling, nurturing a plant and donating old clothes teaches kids to be compassionate and sensitive towards nature and the needy. It teaches them how to live in harmony with the nature.
Less is more - The realization that something new and amazing can be built from minimal resources is the best gift you can give your child at this young age. Encourage use of already existing things in fun, different ways rather than showering them with gifts on any given ocassion.
Sensory motor skills - Introducing gardening and composting early on in life develops sensory motor skills of a child and also gives them an increased appreciation for Earth & the lifecycle. They learn the basic science behind decomposition, waste reduction & conversion into nutrient-rich soil and the role of our dear worms & slugs in the whole process. This not only connects them to nature but also makes them more self-aware of the destructions we cause as humans, all while giving back to the Earth.
Every person makes a difference - The herd mentality is what prevents most of us from taking actions we know we must. It's important to show our kids that how much of a difference one person’s steps can alone make, and how the ideas of just one person can influence another. This can be done through simple acts like ensuring cleanliness in your society, volunteering to plant trees in your surroundings, calling out on anyone littering in public or wasting resources like water or food.
The importance of role models - Talking to your kids about child environmental activists around the world can help them realize problems and solutions they weren’t aware of. Seeing someone their age can perhaps push them to think out of the box and give them courage to work on ideas they believe in!