On 5 June we celebrated World Environment Day, which is why we have dedicated this post to talk about the importance of raising environmental awareness from an early age. It is in our hands to take care of our planet and, a good way to do it, is by instilling and promoting values of respect for the environment to the new generations.
Climate change is a reality that is affecting us every day. Abrupt changes in temperature, melting glaciers causing a progressive rise in sea levels, the reduction in biodiversity due to environmental pollution, excessive consumption of plastic that ends up in our oceans… These are just some of the things we can see with the naked eye. It is something we must stop, or at least try to stop, with small actions. And you, are you still wondering how to raise environmental awareness and transmit it in your children? We’ll tell you all about it!
Small actions, big changes
Every small gesture we make has a big impact on society. That is why environmental education should begin at home, the objective is that children learn from an early age to respect the environment, to acquire environmental awareness and to assume values that protect it. Here are some ideas that you can instil in your children to get them started.
Ideas for teaching environmental education to children
Children are like sponges. Our home and school are key places for them to become adults in the future who are aware of the need to protect nature and the environment that surrounds us. Here are some simple actions to put into practice with the youngest members of the household.
1. Activities in contact with nature
Connecting children with nature through activities such as visiting natural or rural environments, walking in the mountains, cycling are some of the plans that can be taught to them from a very young age and, if we also set an example by picking up our rubbish and the rubbish we see around us, this will create in them a great awareness and need to protect it.
2. Teaching them to recycle
It is important that children learn to recycle correctly. A good way to do this is to propose it as a game, so that they throw the waste separately in each container, rewarding them whenever they do it well and for themselves.
3. Respect for animals
Children love animals, and getting close to them is a very good way to learn to know, respect and care for them. Visiting farm schools with the school can help to bring these two environments closer together, but you can also visit them as a family or opt for ecotourism. Signing them up for summer camps is another good option where they will experience complete immersion.
4. Learning to reuse
Reduce, recycle and reuse, these three things should go hand in hand. We must make children aware that all objects can have a second life and we can give them more than one use. Donating is another good gesture, both their clothes when they have outgrown them and their toys or books, explaining to them that another child will be able to enjoy them thanks to them.
Suggest some kind of craft where you reuse objects that you no longer use or are going to throw away. It’s a good way to keep them entertained while you give them a second life and create something new together. Sharpen your wits!
5. Participate in cleaning tasks
One of the activities that can help children to learn the importance of caring for the natural environment is to participate in cleaning up a park, a river or a beach. It is a way of making them aware of all the rubbish that is thrown away and ends up in nature, polluting and harming animals and plants.
We observe how the population is becoming more and more committed to the environment and more and more volunteers are gathering from time to time in strategic places in each province to collect rubbish from natural environments.
In fact, the hashtag #Stopbasuraleza is a pioneering project at European level that last year managed to unite more than 30,000 volunteers and more than 800 organisations committed to caring for nature in the fight against litter. It’s certainly a good plan to instil in children!
6. Saving electricity and water
We must teach children that water is a limited resource. On the other hand, we must also educate them about saving water, which can be done through small actions such as turning off the tap while brushing their teeth, turning off the lights when they are not in their rooms… Explaining to them that, in addition to saving water, this small gesture helps to take care of our planet.
7. Encourage the use of public transport
Going to school by bus or taking the bicycle to get around are some of the values that we can put into practice with our children. Not only will we contribute to reducing pollution, but we will also instil a healthier lifestyle.
8. Responsible consumption
Go shopping with them and explain to them the importance of buying what is necessary to avoid wasting and throwing away food. If you in turn teach them to choose seasonal products, to reduce plastic by bringing your own cloth or cardboard bags and to choose more and more products that are not packaged in plastic, you will be creating values in them without them even realising it.
We hope you have found these ideas on environmental education and respect useful and that you will instil the importance of raising environmental awareness at a young age. It’s time to put it into action!
Environment Day can be any day, so why not celebrate it as a family and put some of these ideas into practice? We want to know which ones you already practice, as well as the new gestures you are going to adopt at home to start raising environmental awareness in the whole family. We would love to read you!