Parents leave no stone unturned when it comes to teaching their children everything that would help them become a better person. From helping the little one learns the alphabets to inculcating good manners, everything that a child learns, begin at home.
The COVID-19 outbreak has drastically altered daily life for millions of students and parents. Suddenly, the pressure on educators and parents to “home school” kids is more than ever. Social distancing is a necessary and effective measure to keep us safe, but it has also led to widespread school closures, which can make for a challenging transition for many children.
For many climate-minded young people, the feeling is familiar. They’re already concerned about the Earth’s future in the face of climate change — now the pandemic is compounding these emotions. Fortunately, many inspirational kids are also leading the fight for a greener planet and safer future. Young people around the world have the power to make a difference, even from their homes
Below are some at-home activities that students can do to beat boredom, stay positive and create a climate-friendly future:
Reduce, reuse and recycle
Every child should grow this habit of ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’. In fact, parents can be role models for their little ones. For example, when a child sees his father reuse the same article (cups, bottles or dishes) multiple times, he too would be inspired to do the same. A child can also be taught to harvest rain water or recycle water using simple tips. For example, the water used to swipe the floor can be used to water the plants.
Make a plan to cut down on plastic pollution
Children can be asked to track the plastic use at home by counting how many plastic containers, wraps, bottles and bags are purchased for the home. Children can also be encouraged to research products that have more sustainable packaging when things are ordered online or purchased at the grocery store. While ordering food from a restaurant make a note asking for no plastic utensils and limited plastic packaging.
Try some delicious plant-based cuisine
There’s no better way to spend time at home than trying new recipes. You can reduce your carbon footprint by adopting a more plant-based diet.
In addition to mastering new recipes, students can learn food preservation techniques, such as canning, pickling, drying and freezing to enjoy fruits and vegetables year-round and minimize food waste.
Learn new ways to protect our species
Children can watch documentary movies and learn how to protect endangered species. Also, they can research the best thriving habitat for pollinators and create a thriving environment in their gardens.
Art and Environment
Art has embodied the relationship between humans and the natural environment throughout the ages. It is an excellent way to connect to nature, and kids should be encouraged to spend some time in order to reduce stress and also to connect to mother earth.They can also make upcycled products such as paper bags and paper wall hangings from waste paper.
Kids can also gather some dry leaves from the garden or some pebbles and create an art piece using these materials.
Stories or poems
Children should be encouraged to write stories and poems related to nature that help them think about the view of the environment from different perspectives. This allows to express themselves more clearly as well.
Plant a tree
Planting a tree and saving the seeds from the fruits that they grow can really help children understand the time and effort that it takes for an ecosystem to grow. The seeds that they save can be stored in damp places and planted whenever they get an opportunity to visit a farm or a forest. In cities like Mumbai where space is a constrain vertical garden is a better option which not only helps to keep the environment clean but also increases the beauty of the space.
Growing organic vegetables and fruits for your kitchen is a great way to mix fun and learning.
Reduce energy and water use
Turn off desktop computers at night instead of putting them on sleep mode. Using a bucket instead of a shower. Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth.
Reuse water from the washing machine to clean the toilet.
The importance of natural resources for human beings
The rate at which we are consuming natural resources like petroleum, minerals etc. it would not be long before these become extinct from our earth. A child should be made aware of renewable (infinite) and non-renewable (finite) resources. Parents should tell their children about how difficult (almost impossible) it would become to survive if we run out of water (yes, water is a finite resource) or natural gas. Encourage them to watch movies on environmental awareness or conduct small experiments at home to help them understand the importance of natural resources, which would prevent them from wasting the same.
Commit to reducing your consumption. Most of us don’t really need many of the items we have in our homes. So, instead of just buying stuff to have stuff, figure out if it is a want or a true necessity.
While some may tell you that you need to go big and buy an electric vehicle, install solar on your rooftop, set up a wind turbine in your backyard or do some other major environmental action, not all of us can afford to do that. It doesn’t mean we can’t make a difference though. These simple actions allow you to help the environment starting right now, and of course, you can always add on from there. In all honesty, if more people adopt green and eco-friendly habits, the better off the environment will be for you, your children and future generations.
A little bit about the Author:
Parul is an educator with over 11 years of experience and currently works as a teacher at JBCN International School. Parul believes that nature is intrinsically valuable and that humans have caused serious damage to the natural world. She strongly believes that we are morally obligated to preserve aspects of the natural world