*** Stay tuned as I’ll be announcing the winner of the Plaine Products Hand Sanitizer Set!
When it comes to caring about certain things in our universe, look to the children first. You can ask them what their favorite animal is, or their favorite color, or even their favorite food and they’ll immediately go into a lengthy diatribe of why they love that particular thing. But ask them if they love their planet, you’ll most likely get a quick head nod. Add in the fact that the planet is full of nature such as flowers, butterflies, and dolphins, and you’ll immediately get an enthusiastic smile.
Earth Day was on April 22 and many schools across the world celebrated and honored Mother Earth. Students from kindergarten to middle school were able to learn something about the planet and what we need to do to preserve it. I was talking to a couple of kindergarteners and one in particular came up to me and said with a toothy grin, “Happy Earth Day! You must reduce, reuse, recycle!.” How precious is that? All I could think of was wow, a child as young as 5 or 6 years old was so enthusiastic about saving the planet. Did she understand what those words meant? You bet I asked her and we got into a brief one-sided conversation – with her mostly telling me what she thought the words meant. I knew her classroom was learning about Earth Day, but for someone as young as her to really understand the meaning and to practically preach about protecting the environment was quite a delight!
Kids are pretty amazing and unique. Through all my years of working with children, there is rarely a day where I don’t meet an amazing student. And through all the difficulties of raising children or even teaching them, if you open your eyes and ears to what they say and do, you’d find that kids are truly the heart of our future.
But why are children more interested in helping the environment than adults? As an adult, I recall my childhood where I learned about the environment and the planet from mostly my parents and a few teachers. Children are like sponges and they’ll soak up whatever is around them, be it good or bad. When I talk to my Green Team students about the environment, most of them have a general knowledge of what they should do. And most of the time, they are interested to learn more and to do more. That is what amazes me the most – the fact that they actually want to do something progressive in helping the planet.
We can certainly learn a lot from kids. As an adult, we usually tend to just brush off their comments. But if we truly want to learn from what children can offer then we must listen to their words. Below I’ve listed some suggestions on how to talk kids about the environment and get the conversation going.
Teach by example. Children can learn by emulating what we do so it’s important to show them that we also care about the environment.
Ask open-ended questions. Start the conversation going on how they feel about their planet.
Make suggestions. Suggest to kids how to care about the planet. Examples would be to plant more trees or start their own garden at home, or pick up trash around their neighborhood, or make signs around their schools to raise awareness of climate changes.
Allow kids to use their own creativity on how they want to help the planet. Kids can offer great ideas of their own that we can apply to.
Give them the right tools. Have age appropriate books about helping the planet as well as any authentic online resources. Companies such as The Environmental Working Group: www.ewg.org and Keep America Beautiful: https://kab.org/ are great sites to start with.
Volunteer with local or statewide environmental groups. Depending on the ages of your children, there are many great non-profit organizations they can volunteer for.
In the end, our children are our future and the future of what our world will be. Kindness to others and the planet is the overall achievement we should all try to reach for.
*photos courtesy of kidsgardening.org
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Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.