New Deals, Everyday
New Deals, Everyday
Encourage young, impressionable minds to adopt a sustainable lifestyle early on so that it becomes a lifelong habit.
These glare at us like apocalyptic visions of sci-fi movies. They’re true, nonetheless. From wiping out forests to choking the planet with plastic, we have been quite reckless in treating the only home we know. And now, we are perhaps hurtling towards a reckoning. Slowly, though, consciousness is dawning. There is a nascent fear of a looming crisis, but so is the realization that the time for action is now.
It is time for all of us to become crusaders to save planet Earth, along with raising awareness about conservation and environmental protection. More importantly, the baton should be passed on to our children as the future, the very survival, of our world rests on them.Thinking green should be an intrinsic part of their upbringing – as intrinsic as the values, life skills, and social norms we teach them.
The task isn’t that daunting, really. No one expects us or our children to clean a polluted ocean or go on an afforestation drive right away. The aim is to build strong characters who will care for the planet, stop others from causing harm to the environment, and guide everyone on how to be eco-conscious.
The first step towards raising eco-friendly children is to make being environmentally friendly the natural way of life. It has to start very early on through our conversations.
When a baby nibbles an apple, you could say, “So nice of the apple tree to make a delicious, healthy fruit which we can eat. If we take care of the tree, it can make more apples for everyone in the world.”
While taking a walk, mention how fortunate we are to have fresh air to breathe, while bathing be thankfulto the rivers for providing water to keep us clean and to drink. They should cherish nature for providing for them.
Much before they understand the rhetoric of global warming, pollution, extinction, they will understand the integral relationship we share with the planet and how we must be responsible for the planet’s welfare.
Our lifestyle speaks the most clearly to our children. When we make an effort to reduce, reuse, and recycle, they shall follow. Even if we falter, they shall respect that their family is striving to be eco-friendly.
Begin with small steps. It’s necessary for children to understand that it’s every individual attempt, however small, that makes a collective difference.
In each of these steps, involve your child. They will feel a pride in being responsible young citizens.
There are hosts of books and shows dealing with the theme of saving and reviving the environment that you can introduce your kids to.
The Michael Recycle series is an entertaining way of introducing children to environmental concerns. “The Magic Schoolbus and Climate Change”, “A Planet Full of Plastic”, “Our Little Inventor” are but a few among the treasure trove waiting for kids.
Documentaries like “More than Honey”, “A Beautiful Planet”, or National Geographic’s “A Way Forward: Facing Climate Change” and “Time to Choose” can nurture a more empathetic worldview. Also worth exploring are resources such as http://www.ecofriendlykids.co.uk.
Greta Thunberg warned the global leaders, -
“I don't want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if the house was on fire—because it is".
There is a climate emergency, a mammoth environmental peril facing us and future generations.
And the best gift we can give our children would be to acquaint them with green living and equip them to handle and avert crisis, with clarity as well as compassion.
- Shatarupa Chaudhuri
Shatarupa Chaudhuri is a book lover, an amateur artist who loves to dabble with paints, a lazy writer, rain lover, and a self confessed chocoholic. When she isn't working her day job as Senior Editor at DK, her world revolves around her son Tubby.