Environmental issues today are perhaps the main ones all over the world. Reducing the cost of consumed natural resources is becoming increasingly important. How to tell your child why it is important to sort garbage, reduce the appearance of waste and give it to recycling? Our recommendations will help not only to interest children, but also to introduce useful eco-habits into the daily life of the family.
Stage one: getting to know
First of all, it is necessary to explain to the child why it is important to take care of the world around us, how ecology helps to keep our planet healthy and clean. Fairy tales and children’s non-fiction literature will be good helpers at the first stage. In a playful way, through the stories of their favorite characters, your children will learn about the interaction between man and nature, about the world around us and the natural resources that we use every day in our lives.
Tell your child in detail why garbage dumps have a detrimental effect on our planet. Mountains of garbage emit dangerous substances — methane, dioxins, heavy metals. They pollute the air, poison water and soil. It is also worth explaining to children the timing of the decomposition of various wastes. The garbage itself is usually odorless. Food waste is responsible for the pungent odor. As they decompose, they release unpleasant odors, such as hydrogen sulfide, into the air. And there is also hazardous waste: batteries, mercury thermometers, light bulbs, medicines. They need to be handed over separately — in special boxes, and not taken out to a general landfill! To reduce harmful emissions into the environment, food waste can be recycled at home by installing a special grinder in the kitchen or organizing a home eco-farm.
Stage two: dive
When the child has already become familiar with the concepts of ecology, you can proceed to the next stage — involvement in the processes of «zero waste» at the household level. For example, the usual trip to the country can be turned into mini-subbotniks with the collection of garbage, dry grass and fallen leaves. Invite the children to build a bird feeder and fill it with breadcrumbs, or give a second life to old things together — make a convenient eco-bag out of dad’s T-shirt with your own hands.
Children will better perceive information in comparison: if you explain to them how much natural resources are spent on the production of the same T-shirts and toys, then little why-children will already consciously approach the issue of brushing their teeth, washing their hands and buying a lot of sweets.
Third stage: application
Small eco-agents have already learned the first lessons of caring for the environment. The next step will be the consolidation of eco-rules in everyday life. Show by example how, with the help of simple and uncomplicated rules, you can save our planet. Dad will turn on the leaky faucet in the kitchen and tell the children that when leaving the room, you should always turn off the light, and you can make something useful out of old things. Grandma will explain why it is important to turn off the water while brushing your teeth, and donate unnecessary things to charities and help centers. Mom will pack a healthy lunch for the children in a reusable lunch box, and all plastic bags in the family will be replaced with fabric eco-bags. In addition, you can include eco-habits in a playful way in the children’s responsibilities: for separate waste collection and recycling, not only praise the child, but also reward him with joint entertainment and tasty treats.
- turn off the light when it is not needed;
- do not buy more food than you can eat;
- Check the expiration date of food in the refrigerator.
For your family, you can choose the rules that are right for you. The main thing is not only to tell the child why this is important and necessary, but also to show environmental responsibility in matters of protecting nature by example.
At first glance, it may seem that it is rather difficult to lead an eco-friendly lifestyle with the whole family, but if you know how to organize the space in the house, how to benefit the environment using simple rules, then we and our children will be able to keep our planet green and clean for a long time.
The material was prepared on the basis of the book: «Lesha’s eco-agents and cats save the planet!»
Authors: Evgenia Rusinova, Oleg Goncharov