How to En­gage Chil­dren in En­vi­ron­men­tal Care

The Jakarta Post - Magazine - - Education Supplement - An­tara

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. (


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