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Up to now, humans have not done a great job of looking after the planet. The more resources we use, the faster they get used up, and the less essential raw materials remain for generations to come. Sustainability is how we can each reduce our carbon footprint by cutting down on waste and pollution. It is what companies can do from their side. We need to act now to preserve what is left and to find new sources of fuel that do not harm the earth. If we can instill this in kids from a young age, future generations will naturally protect the environment. How do we go about teaching this?
Children learn by example. Make sure you get up to switch off a dripping faucet. At the same time, explain why you are doing it, in this case, to save water. This explanation will reinforce the message.
Switch off plugs that are not being utilized. Change to items that are more power-efficient. For example, change to energy-efficient light bulbs. A children’s laptop uses a fifth (20%) of the energy of a PC and has a safety bumper feature to preserve it from breakage. Tell your kids that it uses less energy to run, and thus doesn’t deplete the earth’s sources of energy as much. That is why it is a more responsible choice than buying a computer. In this way, you demonstrate and clarify your sustainability selections. You can check out the options for kids tablets and laptops at Lenovo.com.
All these examples will create savings on your energy bill as well as reduce your carbon footprint. They help you to teach children the value of money, as well as sustainability.
Children also learn by interacting with their environment and undertaking stimulating activities. Perform these tasks with your kids so that they see you are serious about sustainability.
Use spare boxes or containers to make recycling bins. Let your children label these and add pictures to indicate if it is for cans, plastic, or paper. Allow them to sort the items for recycling. Teach kids where to throw vegetable cuttings and fruit peels.
Although it’s wonderful to clean up street litter, start with getting children to help you clean up your yard and home. Discuss how different items can be refurbished or repurposed for another function.
Take kids to a charity to drop off old clothing and toys. Hold a family tree planting. Let everyone choose, plant, and tend their tree.
Include books with a sustainability focus at least as often as you read the old favorites to your kids. These need not be boring or non-fiction. There are tons of books out there that tell a story to get their point across. Videos too.
Maximize the benefits of this reading material by asking questions such as, ‘Why did he want to fix the hole in the sky’, ‘How did he fix it?’, and ‘How can we prevent another hole in the sky’.
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