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There are a ton of great teaching aids out there for people wanted to get their children more involved with the environment. One of the most popular forms of education being developed today are educational games. A lot of websites are supporting games that are kid friendly and really accessible.
An excellent start would be to simply teach them what exactly the environment is, what are the mechanisms (such as the water cycle, the energy cycle, etc.) that enable it to work, among other fundamental issues. The great thing about enivronmental stewardship or environmental activism is that it doesn’t have to be ideological or dogmatic to make sense. Anyone who knows anything about carrying capacity or the qualities inherent in a healthy ocean, for instance, knows that there are consequences to pollution, to over-fishing, to over-consumption. And that, if we care anything at all about future generations, we have a moral obligation to mitigate these problems.
The best way to teach kids about preserving the environment is to get them involved. Let them have their own section in your garden, have them help with the recycling, remind them about turning off the water while brushing their teeth, etc… You can also enroll them in local nature camps (check with your community center or parks district). Have a litter pick up day where you take them to their favorite park or beach and you all collect litter together. There are so many ways to involve kids and they are eager to learn.
Remember to teach by example too. That’s one of the best ways to teach kids anything. By treating the environment yourself, you’ll be setting up your kids to treat the environment well out of habit as well as out of respect for nature.
The best thing you can do is to talk to your children about environmental issues and encourage them to share their opinions. If we instill a sense of responsibility for the world we live in at a young age they are more likely to be eco conscious adults. Yesterday on a bike ride with my 8 year old nephew I found that the trees, manure, and animals we saw on our trail opened up a discussion about our environment and how he feels we should treat it.
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