There’s a varying amount of ecological education between schools and even between classrooms within a school. This leaves the responsibility to parents. The great news: Parents do not need a science degree so as to teach their kids about caring for the environment.
Step one: Lay the groundwork for helping your kids love the environment and character first before worrying them about environmental issues or asking them to get involved in finding solutions. This means getting your children outdoors and teaching them to be acquainted with what lives out there. This also means resisting the urge to constantly nag them to turn off lights, recycle, no mess and not to run the water. It is taboo to do this until your kids have created a love and connection with the environment.
Following are ways parents can teach their kids about the environment:
Read. There are numerous children’s magazines such as”Your Big Backyard” and”Ranger Rick” that introduce young readers to nature and wildlife.
Get a pet. By caring for a pet, children gain an understanding of animals. Educate them about the animals’ needs and their typical life cycle.
Challenge their thinking. Parents with older kids can help them explore topics like how much water they use daily to give them a real-life lesson. By way of instance, show them a 1-gallon milk jug then discuss how many gallons family uses need, like flushing the toilet uses 1.5 gallons, most showers use 3 to 5 gallons per minute plus a dishwasher normally requires 15 gallons each time it runs. Helping kids measure how much water they use in daily makes the lesson more realistic for them.
Monitor energy use. Teach your kids to be”watt watchers” by turning off the TV and computer when not in a room and also to shut off lights not needed. Help them set the thermostat a few degrees higher in the summer and a couple of levels lower in winter.
Encourage water-watching. This means teaching your kids to switch off the water while brushing their teeth, filling the tub half-full, restricting shower times to 5 to 10 minutes, catching rain water to use for watering plants, making sure sprinklers water the yard rather than the driveway and visiting a pool rather than playing in the sprinklers for hours.
Demonstrate environmentally-friendly chores. This may involve using vinegar, baking soda or other”green” cleaners instead of harsh chemicals. Teach your children the value of running the dishwasher and washing machine only when they’re complete and use the cold water setting.
Initiate a house recycling program. Reuse items such as glass jars and water bottles and different batteries and electronics in the garbage and dispose of them properly. Buy recycled products, reuse garments from older siblings and give creative gifts which are used, found or made.