Teaching conservation to kids
Earth's environment has a direct impact on its inhabitants. The opposite is also true, in that Earth's inhabitants have a direct impact on the Earth's environment. Conserving the Earth's natural resources is an important concept for everyone to understand, and teaching kids about conservation helps develop positive habits in how they use resources. When these habits begin during childhood, young people can grow up with a mindset that focuses on environmental conservation. Use various tools to help children understand the importance of conservation and how to make eco-friendly decisions every day.
Parents and teachers can educate children about conservation by setting positive examples. Children tend to observe others continuously. Kids then often try to emulate important adults in their lives by adopting similar ideas and opinions. When you prioritize saving water, using less electricity, and looking for ways to reduce the amount of waste you produce, you set an example that your kids will be likely to follow.
As you lead an environmentally responsible lifestyle, you will likely experience a number of teachable moments that you can use to introduce your children even more about the environment. For example, when shopping in a store, take the opportunity to talk about product packaging so kids begin thinking about how products are wrapped and presented for sale. When you see excess plastic and cardboard around a product, talk about how consumers can have a positive impact on these practices. By choosing not to buy these products because of excess packaging, consumers can encourage manufacturers to use more environmentally friendly means to package their products. As you throw items away in your home, talk about recycling and involve children in the process. You can also encourage reusing items or repurposing them to use them in a different way instead of throwing things away. Raising awareness about water conservation with teachable moments can be quite easy; when brushing teeth, teach children to turn off the water. Even a family project such as planting and tending a garden can be a series of teachable moments, because children can participate in the process of growing healthy food to eat.
Energy conservation can be fun, too. Look for ways to teach children energy conservation lessons with enjoyable and exciting activities. For example, go on a scavenger hunt throughout your house to find all of the electronic and electric appliances and devices that are plugged in but used infrequently. After you explain that these devices use energy unnecessarily, you can embark on a hunt to find every device that you could unplug to save electricity. Institute the title of "light police" to children, and give them the job of turning off all the lights in your home that no one is using. Make recycling and repurposing a family project. Kids can be involved with sorting household garbage into different bins for paper, plastic, and metals. Encourage repurposing projects, such as using old egg cartons to grow seedlings for the garden or making a wind chime out of old CDs.
Conservation for kids
- AEC Consultants - Links
- Keyhole Journey - Alternative Energy
- Change for Global Change - Educational Resources
- Tips for Conserving
- Association for Learning Environments - Other Useful Links for Home Repair and More
- Cool It! - Resources for Teachers, Parents and Kids from the BC Sustainable Energy Association
- Resources to Learn About Electricity
- Electricity Conservation Tips from Greer Commission of Public Works
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