How to Engage Children in Environmental Care
When it comes to preparing your children for their future lives, we should not limit ourselves to focusing only on inheriting material things and higher education; equipping our loved ones with a deep understanding of the environment and the need to care for it is also essential. This is because our children are the generation with whom the responsibility to protect the planet and preserve the diversity and sanctity of all life rest. It is their duty to make the planet a livable and comfortable place.
In Jakarta, more and more schools have incorporated into their extracurricular programs student activities related to environmental care. However, getting children accustomed to caring for the environment can start at home, and you are the model from whom they will learn and adopt this important habit. When they have become used to this habit at home, they will carry it and apply it everywhere they go and for the rest of their lives.
We can teach and engage our children in some commendable environmentallyfriendly habits from an early age, preparing them to become a generation that actively protects the environment from the dangers of man’s behavior.
Put litter in its proper place
This can act as the basis for instilling environmental care in the minds and hearts of the young ones. You can provide them with understanding of why littering is not recommended, including throwing their trash into the river, or out of car windows.
Also, teach them to differentiate between organic and non-organic waste. To train them, you can put a litter bin for non-organic waste in their bedroom. If you can develop this habit of putting non-organic waste in its proper place at home, they will carry this habit with them outside of their house.
Create anew with recycling
Reusing used goods and waste and creating something new out of these materials are a creative way to control our consumptive habits. As well as being an alternative to recycling, this can become a fun activity that involves the whole family.
You should still remember how fun it was to make a toy car using grapefruit peel. Or, for longer-lasting products, why don’t you make it a habit for you and the children to purchase tote bags or purses made of recycled detergent or soap shavings. Instill also in yourself the idea that using items made of recycled and reused materials is a good thing and helps the environment.
Plant a tree
Your family should be interested in the tree-planting drives that many environmental agencies and government agencies are promoting. Helping our children build the habit of caring for trees is one of the ways of equipping them with meaningful life skills.
If you have a limited garden, you can use pots. Engage your children in caring for the plants. It is better to plant fruit plants, such as tomato plants. You can even try using planting media in the form of dolls, such as Horta dolls.
Excursions to the wild
Children will internalize things better if they experience them first; taking them to enjoy nature, where the air is fresh and free from man-made waste and pollution, can help them gain better understanding of the benefits of having a healthy and well-preserved environment. So, instead of going to the mall all the time, taking them on an excursion to a protected forest or a conservation area is a good idea for a family day out.
By going to these places, they also learn about the function of a forest or a nature reserve, about their function as oxygen producing areas and water catchment areas, as well as about the benefits that a single tree can give us. When passing a polluted river, you can have a discussion about the impact of pollution on rivers and the sea, including the dangers of water areas becoming clogged with waste.
You as the model
As you are teaching your children commendable habits, you should serve as a model for them. Don’t talk about the importance of putting waste in their proper place if you yourself still litter.
So, with small changes and habits developed from home, a big transformation for the positive will affect the environment thanks to your loved ones and other members of their generation. (