Earth Day is a couple of days away and most everyone is looking for ways to give back to nature. Though I see this flurry of activities in a positive light, I believe that “going green” is something that we have to pay attention to in every day of our lives. Being conscious of the environment and how our actions affect it is not a one time big time thing. It is something that we impart to our children right from the outset. It is learned throughout their childhood and carried on to their adulthood.
I distinctly remember my parents teaching us little practices by which we could be environmentally conscious. For example, when we eat candy while we are in the playground and we cannot see a trash can nearby, we were taught to put the wrapper in our pockets instead of throwing it on the ground.
My parents set good examples as well. One picture that I cannot erase from my memory is our family in a car on the highway. We were eating some chips and we were done, we dutifully placed all the trash in a bag – to be disposed of later. There was this really nice car in front of us. In a little while we discovered what they were having for snacks – corn cobs flew out of the window. Soda cans followed.
That image has been imprinted permanently in my mind – bringing up kids to realize how they can help the environment out does not have to be a very big deal. We do not have to buy all organic food. We do not have to buy certain labels at the grocery store all the time. Teaching our kids the little things that they can do everyday – like the illustration I shared above – is more lasting and more important in my mind.
How do you teach your kids the value of the environment?