- Why should children learn about the environment?
- How do you explain the environment to a child?
- How do you teach children to be environmentally responsible?
- What are 5 ways to help the environment?
- Make a difference
Going green is catching on in a big way these days. Environmental influencers like Greta Thunberg are making kids and adults really care about the environment and the future of the planet. It’s never too early to start talking to your children about the environment and what they can do to make it better.
Why should children learn about the environment? 🌳
Sooner or later, your children will learn about our various environmental problems. They will hear things at school, from their friends, or from all kinds of media. It’s important to give your kids a feeling of empowerment early on because older kids can start feeling anxious about the state of the world if they feel there’s nothing they can do to change it.
Tell them the truth about things like climate change, but you don’t need to emphasise the doom and gloom. Instead, focus on positive action and how living in an environmentally-friendly way benefits everyone.
It also helps them at school. A study by Stanford University found that 98% of school children improved their marks in subjects such as maths and science after learning about the environment.
How do you explain the environment to a child? 🌍
If your kids don’t know much about the environment yet, you could start with what they do know. Teach them that the environment is not some remote place where only polar bears and pandas live. It’s also local and they are part of it.
For example, you could tell them they have two homes: their ‘small home’, the flat or house they live in and their ‘big home’, the whole world. Ask them how would they feel if their small home was in danger from floods or fire or from someone wanting to knock it down. Would they try to protect it if they could? Then explain to them that their big home is in trouble and everyone needs to do things to help it.
Point out to them that their big home is also where everyone else lives too, including their friends, grandparents, and cousins. Many children care a lot about animals, so you can explain that all the animals live in their big home with them.
Tell them that the environment is the word we use to talk about their big home and no one can live without it, so it’s important to protect it.
How do you teach children to be environmentally responsible? 💚
The most important thing you can do is make sure your child has a personal connection to nature. Experiences of playing in the park, walking in the countryside, or enjoying the wilderness are great ways to build your kids’ awareness of the environment and their desire to protect it.
Spending time in nature and experiencing its beauty is also really good for mental and emotional well-being.
While you’re in natural spaces, encourage them to spot litter and get them to think about why it’s there and how it spoils the landscape. You could even take gloves and bin bags and have a race to see who can collect the most rubbish then dispose of it properly.
Take them to visit farms and garden centres and explain to them where their food comes from. Helping children see the connection between the natural world and their plates can not only create a strong awareness of the environment but also lead them to eat more healthily.
Find out about people and organizations who are making a real positive difference to the environment. Use these role models to inspire your kids to care more about living greener lives.
What are 5 ways to help the environment? 🙋
Children learn from you, so if you want them to care about the environment, lead by example. Here are 5 ways you, and your little ones, can lead a cleaner, greener, less expensive lifestyle:
Reducing the number of things you buy can be as simple as taking a few minutes to ask yourself “do I really need this?” before handing over your hard-earned cash. Reducing consumption can also mean buying things that last longer. This way of shopping is better for your bank balance as well as for the planet.
Also, try to become more aware of how much energy and water you and your kids use. Encourage them to turn off appliances that aren’t in immediate use, heat or cool only spaces that they are currently using, and turn off lights when they leave a room. Tell them to save water by having a shower instead of a bath and turn off the tap when they’re brushing their teeth if they’re not using the water at that moment.
The Reuse principle also saves money in the long run. Instead of buying disposable products like disposable face masks, batteries, coffee pods, etc spend your money on things that will last you a lot longer such as washable face masks, rechargeable batteries, and a coffee percolator.
Buying second-hand products whenever you can is a great way to reduce your impact on the environment. With apps like Wallapop or shops like CEX, you can find some good quality items at much lower prices.
Recycling is just as important as reducing and reusing. Get your kids to help you sort out the recycling. Make a game of it and see who can match the right waste to the right bin. Make a point of seeking out recycling points when disposing of litter when you’re out and about together.
4. Make your own
Why spend money on something you can make at home? The internet is full of advice about how to make your own stuff from water filters to toothpaste to toys. Start teaching your kids how to make their own products and they’ll have fun and learn skills that will last them a lifetime.
Sharing with friends and family and borrowing things you only need occasionally is also a great way of reducing your consumption and saving money and will set a good example for your children. You can also join sharing groups like Freecycle.
Make a difference
Children’s stories are full of superheroes and superheroines who make saving the world their daily duty. Explain to your kids that, by doing some small things like those we’ve talked about above, they can be superheroines and superheroes and help save the world too.
Here at Go Student we’re ready and waiting to help your child with all their questions about the environment, science and nature. Try a free trial lesson to see how we can work for you and your child today.