A generation of environmentally conscious citizens is growing. According to a report by the Ministry of Climate and Environment, currently up to 94% of the population of Poland consider climate change to be a very serious problem. Among the most common reasons why we want to protect the environment is caring for future generations and caring for health. How do we teach our children about ecology so that this knowledge can bear fruit in the future?
Effective environmental protection depends on all of us participating in concrete actions. It concerns many areas, incl. Conscious consumption, saving energy and water, reducing waste generation and proper segregation, and minimizing negative impact on air quality. These are tasks that are the responsibility of every citizen. It’s good for kids to know and understand it too.
We are all part of nature!
Environmental education can be associated with boring lessons, memorizing complex concepts, and asking questions on the board. In fact, it is much simpler and more fun. Ecology is simply the study of how nature works. It helps to discover what is harmful and what serves our environment which is the home of all living things. That is why it is so important in building an ecological attitude in our children to instill love and compassion for nature and make them aware of the beauty of our planet. To this end, let’s spend as much time as possible in the fresh air, take a walk, take the children into the forest, show them different types of plants and where the animals live, let’s tell them what they eat. From an early age, during every trip – even a small one, on the way to school, let us explain what we see and what processes occur in nature, which change depending on the prevailing season. Let children experience and experiment to see that they are part of a complex natural system.
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set an example
If you want to raise children in the spirit of the environment, it is better to do it on your own example. Children learn through observation, which is why the modeling of good habits in them actually happens when they accompany us in everyday life.
So, when going shopping, let’s take our reusable bag. We buy according to a pre-made list and only get the things we really need. If possible, choose organic food. Plan meals so you don’t waste food: Separate trash and compost, turn off the water when brushing your teeth, and turn off the lights in rooms you don’t live in. After we come back from a walk in the woods, let’s take the trash we find on our way with us. Let caring for the planet become something natural, an activity we do out of habit, even automatically. Let’s talk about the life cycle of different products – what will happen to them when they are not needed. Let’s tell the kids where the trash ends up and what we can do to reduce our negative impact.
Where does food come from?
What we eat also affects the health of our planet. Eating the same foods is not only boring but also bad for the earth. why? Because we deprive it of biodiversity, we sterilize it with intensive cropping and industrial animal husbandry. This is why more and more environmentally conscious people are abandoning or limiting animal products.
It is estimated that switching to an all-vegetarian diet could reduce personal food-related emissions by up to 50% – says Marcin Tischner of ProVeg Polska, Content Partner of Education Campaign for Schools to reduce our environmental footprint every day. It is enough to include more vegetables, fruits, pods, nuts, seeds, grains, etc. in our meals, and at the same time discover new products, flavors and dishes – adds Tischner.
This is evidenced by the combination of two types of food. 1 kg of protein in the form of meat compared to 1 kg of protein from legumes is 22 times more than the ground used. This is exactly the amount of water we use while showering for two months and the amount of carbon dioxide that a car emits when going from Rome to Warsaw.
It is important for our children to understand where the food comes from and the route it took before it reached our table. Cooking and preparing meals together would be an excellent opportunity to discuss this topic. It is also good to grow plants and herbs in the garden or on the balcony. By planting and then caring for plants, the child learns about the stages of vegetation and observes how nature works. It’s not only great fun, but also a lesson in responsibility and a chance to see your agency.
Where do you get knowledge?
There are many interesting proposals on the market, thanks to which we can easily acquaint children with the intricacies of life on Earth. Books adjusted to the child’s age will be very useful, but also board games, quizzes in the application on the phone or nature programs watched together. Parents who want to learn more will find plenty of podcasts, TV shows, and blogs on this topic. It is important to be aware of the ongoing climate change and its consequences, but at the same time not only focus on dark and catastrophic visions. It is worth showing children their responsibility and letting them know that even small changes in our lives can make a big difference to our planet.
Source: press materials
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