New Delhi: Late Dr. Haim Ginott, a school teacher, a child psychologist and psychotherapist and a parent educator, rightly said, “Children are like wet cement, whatever falls on them, makes an impression.” In other words it means that unlike adults, children can be moulded and so Lalit Joshi, a 37-year-old sales manager by profession, decided to inculcate the habit of waste management for a cleaner and greener environment in his 7-year-old daughter. Earlier in June when Mr Joshi came across a viral photo of a stork with beak stuck in plastic ring, he decided to act and do something. It is then that he came up with five simple ways for children to lead an eco-friendly lifestyle.
Here is how you can make your children lead a sustainable life without overwhelming them with reality of facts and figures.
1. Ditch Plastic, Especially Single-Use Plastic
Children tend to copy adults and it is time to use this to your advantage. If you will ditch plastic in your day to day life, for sure your children will do that too. Wondering where to start? Whenever you go out with your family and order some drink, ask the restaurant to not put plastic straw in your drink. Do this a couple of times and later you will notice your child doing the same thing. Don’t believe us? Try it for yourself.
Similarly, bid adieu to plastic bags, bottles, spoons, straws, and cups. Also, don’t forget to familiarise them with alternatives to single-use disposable plastic.
2. DIY To Your Rescue
While you educate your children to not contribute to the existing burden of waste through waste management. Teach them the art of upcycling, from discarded plastic bottles, spoons, thermocol plates and cups to e-waste. Sit with them and try your hands at some creative use of waste and convert them into something useful. It can be a fun activity to involve children in.
3. Follow The 3Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycling
While you can ‘reduce’ the use of plastic and other hazardous items by opting for alternatives and can ‘reuse’ already used plastic and e-waste items by upcycling them, you can ‘recycle’ grey water at home and save humongous amount of water from going to waste. Though recycling is a technical process and you need machineries to carry out the process, grey water recycling is one of those things that can be done at home with ease. The entire process will be a great learning experience for the young waste warriors.
4. Plant And Nurture A Tree Like Your Own
While thousands of trees are being cut for some or the other reason, it becomes essential to plant at least one tree and contribute to the environment. At a young age, children might not understand the pivotal role trees play in the ecosystem, but they can still be made part of afforestation activity.
How to do? – Plant a tree outside your house or a sapling in your balcony. To make it interesting for children, try planting a fruit or flower bearing tree. Children will nurture it whole heartedly to see fruits and flowers blossoming.
5. Cleanup For A Greener Earth
Waste management and segregation are two of the most important lessons a child needs to learn. Children should know about wet waste and dry waste and why is it crucial to dispose them of properly. 11th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), Harold B. Lee has rightly said, “The most important work you will ever do will be within the walls of your home.” To begin with, you can keep two different bins at home to train children in waste segregation. You can also participate in cleanup drives and take your children along with you. To make clean-up drives engaging for them, use story telling format to explain the drives and their purpose.