Improving environmental awareness and gaining a sustainable and ecological behaviour is now a necessity for our planet. It is crucial that children, from an early age, learn to respect and value the nature and behave responsibly with energy resources and waste, but as parents we have a responsibility to teach our children the ecological values and habits.
The love of nature will lead them to appreciate the entire natural world and to contribute to its preservation. Through the environmental education, children should be assimilated civic awareness, sense of responsibility and care, fundamental values for their future and that of our planet.
The children feel love for nature and living beings innately, with curiosity and affection for the plants and animals they see around them. We cannot love what we do not know, so it is essential that as parents to educate them the environmental values in the task to bring them into open spaces where you can enjoy nature.
If they see animals in their natural habitat and understand the need for clean water and air for plants to survive, this will help them to understand how nature works and what the best ecological actions to conserve natural areas are. Leaving the house without thinking about television and computer to make a family walk in the open air, playing in parks or squares, can be used to teach children to appreciate the environment and make them determined to preserve it.
I am very positive for organizing kid’s activities in school to teach about life in the agricultural context, where it is better to learn about animals and the earth's resources. These outdoor activities will not only be beneficial to understand the importance of protecting the environment but also for their development.
We can encourage children by sowing seeds in a pot, so that they can find out how plants grow and watch grow their own food. It will teach children to appreciate food on the table. We can encourage them to plant seeds and take care of the plants, so that they themselves understand how a tiny seed grows a plant with care and can give flowers and fruits. In this are very important school gardens that many schools are making for their students, but it is also a good idea to take children to markets and fairs where they can have direct contact with the food origins.
Environmental education should focus on quite abstract and intangible questions for children from pollution, the ozone hole, the Earth's resources and things like that. Teaching care for the environment should focus on a set of habits and practices which respect for the planet. As parents we have the leading role, explaining not only in words but above all by example in person with daily gestures of a sustainable lifestyle.
Our task will be to explain to children that the health of the world depends on each of us. For a child it is difficult to understand the concept of deforestation, but they should be made to understand that trees are used to make paper and if we use it on both sides and reduce wastage, then we can help to cut less trees.
At home we can put into practice many good habits for the environment, because at home we can teach children the importance of saving energy and water through our daily habits. There is nobody better than us who can set the correct example. If we do not act responsibly with the lights of the house and the water faucets, neither will the children do.
We must explain to our children that you need to turn off the light in the rooms that are not used, that we should not have the TV on, when no one is watching and it is better to disconnect electronic equipment on stand-by if you do not have to use them.
Water is essential for any life form on the planet, and we show children how best to use it to wash, to clean, to cook, to drink, opening the tap only when needed, without wasting it when you take a shower or when you open the tap.
When children are involved in something, they have a great desire to get to work. Engaging and giving them new responsibilities will make them feel useful and important. They love it when we appreciate them and recognize their contribution. Though they may be small things, the kids believe in what they do and parents who want to educate them ecological values must remember when to appreciate them even for small daily activities of the house.
Recycling can be fun and accessible for children. Separate plastic, paper, bottles, cans and explain the difference between one and the other, to put everything in the container, can be an enjoyable practice. We can decorate in front of the children containers for waste, making the designs for each material, so that every time you throw something in the trash even for them it is easy to know where it goes.
There are perfect activities to do in front of them the making of things with recycled material, using paper, packaging and containers to make decorative objects, costumes and simple games. In each of these tips parents can be role models as an example for their children, with the habits and gestures towards the environment.
We are responsible for their education and if we want to teach certain values to children, we must be good to make children understand the importance of nature and to preserve it.