‘We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.’ – Native American Proverb.
We have all heard the phrase: “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” April 22 is the annual Earth Day and a great time to teach kids its importance. In reality, many of us know the basics of how to conserve the environment and have continuously attempted to protect it in our own small ways. The bigger challenge, however, is in teaching our kids to do the same. Kids often learn and imitate what they see us do, so it is important to help them learn how to promote Earth Day this year with these simple habits.
Recycle Used Items: Most homes already have separate bins for different types of rubbish. It is important to take it a step further and explain to kids what type of rubbish goes in each bin and why. Thereafter, it becomes easy to show them how to recycle certain items that are usually thrown in the rubbish bin; e.g., planting seeds in toilet reper roll holders, repainting used coffee cans and using them to store pens and colors, melting used crayons to make color molds for future use, etc. Basically, the list of items to recycle is endless.
Saving Power: Instructing kids to switch off the lights before they leave the room is easy for them to follow. Teaching them to switch off the TV or games that no one is watching and explaining to them the reason is also a step in helping them understand how to conserve the environment. A major saving of power comes when one is able to divert their interests to daily outdoor activities; such as, playing tennis, football, walking, gardening, fishing, cycling, swimming, skating, etc.
Planting a Tree and/or a Garden: Arguably, children enjoy gardening. It is fun for them to see small seedlings germinate out of their gardening creativity and efforts. Teaching them to plant saved seeds from the kitchen, and by using recycled containers to plant those seeds is a great way to reinforce the importance of recycling. Alternatively, a visit to the park to plant a tree every year, presumably on April 22, (and naming the tree) is a memorable way for kids to see their efforts first hand at promoting Earth Day.
Saving Water: One of the other ways that makes the environment depleted of its resources is wastage of water. A simple instruction for kids to turn off the water tap when brushing their teeth or while soaping their hands is an easy way for them to contribute in saving water. Taking a walk with the kids to show them a dirty river in the area where they live can help them understand that you cannot clean dirty water, hence the reason to save as much water as possible.
Donating Old Clothes and Toys: Usually, children lose interest in their old toys as they grow and acquire new ones. It is important to show them the importance of donating such toys to charity. This includes old clothes and school supplies that are no longer in use. As a parent, driving to the facility where needy kids live is an eye-opener for kids to see how their donation helps other kids.