Modern Australian

How to Teach Your Kids About Environmental Conservation

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With the impacts of climate change becoming more and more prevalent in recent years, the presence of environmental conservation and its participation in childhood development has become all too important.

Gone are the days of free, single-use plastic bags, and things that we as parents took for granted, such as disposable straws and plastic packaging. Ultimately, new conservation practices are going to change how humanity as a society lives, permanently.

However, it’s essential to delve into some of the underlying themes, to get a greater understanding of how we can best apply environmental conservation. How we use the events of today as teachable moments for our children will ultimately define how they engage and interact with the environment – by encouraging conservatism, we may save them from the trauma of environmental disaster news just yet.

Why is environmental conservation so important?

This big blue rock that we call planet Earth is currently the only habitable home that humanity as a species has. While there are many environmental management companies undertaking conservation work, they simply cannot do it alone.

Consider the ancient Confucian proverb about the man and a fish. Certainly, as responsible parents, we can do many things to contribute to environmental conservation and a sustainable planet. However, it is critical that we not only implement these practices ourselves but that we teach our kids these vital conservation skills, so that they may pass them down to their own families one day.

Show a child sustainability, and they may apply it for a day. Teach a child about being sustainable, and that’ll help them not just today, but with any luck, their lifetime.

When’s the best time to start learning about environmental conservation?

There are several different conservation days that occur annually. Some of the most well-known conservation events nationally are Clean Up Australia events, as well as Earth Day. They’re a great way to get started if you want to engage with local environmental groups in your community.

It’s important that the principles of conservation are considered all through the year, and not just occasionally. Don’t feel that you can only start learning about conservation during certain days of the year – there are many simple things that you can do to get your children engaged and learn about the environment they live in.

What are some simple things that I can do?

One of the best things about learning about environmental sustainability is that you can try many different things. There are nearly no wrong answers when learning about environmental conservatism – the only wrong way is not getting started.

Of course, we have our favourite activities. For example, at home, we’re big nature lovers – on occasion, we’ll sit down and watch a nature documentary about endangered species.

Knowing is only half the battle, though – understanding how we can implement sustainable practices in our lives is also important. Here are five small things that we do to encourage sustainability in the family home:

- Bring our own grocery bags, rather than buying new ones at each shop.

- Starting up a seed garden to grow some of our own vegetables at home.

- Responsibly using our resources, and not leaving lights/water on excessively.

- Being aware of the impact that our consumption has, and minimizing waste.

- Reducing, reusing, and recycling items whenever it is reasonable to do so.

Who can I turn to if I have further questions?

Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available about sustainability only. Whether you may be after sustainability facts to show to your kids or even some simple YouTube videos, there’s a resource out there for all families.

If your child is a tactile learner, it may be worth jumping into the yard with some gloves and a bag, to collect local rubbish. All children are different, though – a child with a proclivity for audio kinaesthetic learning may enjoy a podcast.

How you teach your children about environmental conservation is up to you. There are many ways to learn, and just as many ways to teach it – so don’t feel disenchanted if a particular method doesn’t work.

Don’t hesitate to engage and try new things when educating about sustainability – as a parent, your voice will make a difference, even if it’s not necessarily felt today.

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