Climate change occurs when Earth’s climate system changes drastically and results in new weather patterns that lasts for at least a few decades.
Unfortunately in today’s day and age climate change is a very real and urgent problem. Due to our unsustainable lifestyles, we are destroying Earth’s resources and all the life on this planet too.
A lot of world leaders have declared a climate emergency. Therefore, we must change the way we live and we must utilise the available resources carefully. Most importantly we need to teach the next generation to be more mindful about using the available resources. Environmentalism is an ideology that evokes the necessity and responsibility of humans to respect, protect, and preserve the natural world. The environment is in danger and it is important for us to save it, the children who are not connected with nature will not try to protect the environment.
Environmental awareness is extremely important for many reasons; it encourages a sense of connection to nature, promotes a sustainable lifestyle and reiterates the importance of conservation of natural resources and all plant and animal species. If we do not preserve the environment and don’t live a sustainable lifestyle, the next generation will suffer greatly and would soon lose those resources to survive.
Parents can encourage their children to be more involved with saving the environment by doing the following:-
- Nature Walks and Activities: Due to the exposure to technology at such a young age, most children are so absorbed into smart phones that they do not experience the beauty of nature around them. Parents can encourage their children to connect more with nature by organising nature walks and enrolling them in activities related to experiences with nature such as summer camps, rock climbing classes, hiking etc.
- Leading by example: Parents often forget that children learn the most by observing and emulating their parents behaviour. If parents themselves are not aware about environment protection or do not practise what they preach, their children will be ignorant about the environment. For example, switching off the lights and fans when one leaves the room, waste segregation, water conservation etc. If parents do it, then it is more likely that children will also incorporate this behaviour into their daily lives
- Make it a family fun activity: If parents propose basic activities like planting trees in one’s own backyard as a project and a fun family activity, children will want to take part and will want to watch the trees or plants growing.
- Educate yourself and the kids: Educate your children on the consequences their actions have on the environment and how they can help protect and conserve nature. Instilling curiosity about plants, trees, animals, insects; identifying their species and their unique abilities, eating habits and habitat will increase their knowledge and interest as well as their concern for plant and animal life.
- DIY Projects: Encouraging kids to make as many items which they can use by themselves with environment friendly materials. Example, making pencil stands with the cardboard roll of kitchen towels.
- Exploration: It is important that parents allow their children to explore their surroundings and understand what interests them. When in a surrounded by nature, the child should be given the freedom to explore, without any instructions. Giving them time to interact with all the elements will not only benefit their physical and mental health but also help to grow an interest for nature.
- Bringing nature inside your home: It is not necessary that children must be taken outdoors to experience the beauty of nature. We can start by maintaining plants in and around our home, letting fresh air in and enjoying the sunlight.
About the author:
Riya Mehtani is currently pursuing an honours degree in psychology in Delhi University and aspires to become a clinical psychologist in the future. Her passions include studying mental health and wildlife – she also loves animals and nature.