We all know that children are the future, but what does that really mean to us? Think about it this way – someday our children will be the decision-makers, the consumers, and the educators of our world, so instilling practices that will benefit their lives as well as ours should be taken seriously. Teaching our children about sustainability will allow for them to take responsibility for their actions and to plan for their future, all while maintaining a healthier planet.
Educating children about sustainability will introduce a constant reminder in them to reflect on how their actions are affecting their surrounding world. Teachers and parents alike are responsible for understanding the importance of sustainability and explaining to our children the purpose of investing in the future. With this said, children are more inclined to learn and pick up habits from what they see at home. This means, as parents and guardians, we can’t tell our children to live a greener life and not do it ourselves. Some best (and easy!) home practices include:
By simply layering organic materials with some soil to create humus, your flower garden, home-grown veggies, and lawn will flourish without any harm to your surrounding environment.
- Supporting environmentally friendly home products
This can include creating your own kitchen cleaning supplies, utilizing reusable grocery bags, and looking for home products such as mattresses and pillows that are made “without formaldehyde, PBDEs, TDCPP, ozone depleters, and other harmful chemicals”, making them better for you and the environment.
- Reducing energy usage
Unplugging cell phone chargers, blow dryers, and other products while not in use is a simple and easy way to reduce energy usage. It is also a great practice to turn off lights, speakers, and other electrical equipment before leaving the home for school and work, and if possible, using renewable energy by “installing solar panels and generating your own energy”.
Unfortunately, not all parents are going to be interested in teaching their kids about sustainability at home. This is when the importance of school-taught sustainability benefits becomes exceedingly crucial and should be practiced through projects and homework related to the subject. When sustainability is prioritized in education, we, as a community, are working to ensure that our students have a healthy and bright future. There are even environmental programs that teens can join to learn conservation and sustainability skills through eco-literacy practices, and sets up these children for success through exposure to green careers.
As your child learns to understand the importance of sustainability and informs others why they compost, support environmentally friendly home products, and reduce energy usage, these activities are bound to rub off onto those surrounding them. If practices and lessons like these are followed, we may even start to see cleaner cities and environments more suitable to healthy living. And who knows – by researching sustainability tactics and understanding the significance of a greener lifestyle to pass down to our children, maybe we too will learn a thing or two about the importance of a sustainable future.