Some things were implied, somethings were very up-front. We were taught to never under any circumstance litter. Garbage went in the garbage. I remember recycling cans and maybe newspapers as a child, but I don’t remember the specifics until I was a teen.
My mom really advocated moderation, pretty much in all things. Take just a little, and leave the rest for later. Too much of a good thing (from cake to wood, and water) was bad. She also taught us not to be wasteful. We didn’t have to clean our plates, but food (and other resources) should not be wasted.
We shared a lot. We would buy one drink or candy and share it between the three of us (her included). Everyone got some, but no one had too much, and this is something that I’ve taken to heart as an adult.
My parents always taught me to appreciate nature. I was a military brat, and we always lived in amazing places. Whether we were at the beach, hiking in the mountains, wherever, my parents always taught me to respect nature. We were taught never to throw trash outside, and volunteered to do clean ups. We were also told to always conserve. We never left the lights on, always turned the water off when we were brushing our teeth, and had hand-me-down clothes instead of buying something new when the old stuff was perfectly good.
Almost nothing. My dad taught me a lot about the science of animals and ecosystems, but nothing about the need to preserve the environment.
I grew up in the 90s, though, and there were a lot of pro-environment messages on kids’ shows at the time. So I learned about turning off the lights, not wasting water, etc. from that.
My parents taught me a lot about the environment through gardening. Every summer growing up, I would help them till the soil and mix in compost we’d been cultivating all winter, pick out seeds and starts, and plant them in the ground. My chores would include watering and weeding, and I helped pick, can, and cook the produce that came out of the garden. I kind of took it for granted until college, when I encountered other people who had never had a garden growing up and didn’t know anything about how to care for plants, whether they were decorative or produce-bearing. Now I really appreciate having grown up in that kind of environment and having those skills instilled in me. Not only are they useful and money-saving, but they are also becoming more popular as “locovore” movements become more mainstream.
Growing up on an organic farm provided many lessons on environmental issues, both overt and covert. Living in a rural area bring environmental considerations to the forefront, as natural resources are more close at hand than in the city. Then, being taught what it means to be “organic” led to discussions of what the alternative methods of farming might be. Also, our tiny rural town had enough environmentally conscious people to support a natural foods cooperative grocery store, which necessarily raised the profile of environmental impacts of consumption. The “free clothes closet” in the back of this store was one of my favorite places because it was one of the few places we were allowed to buy clothes and I could take whatever I wanted because it was all re-used! Besides the tasty food we ate from our garden, this was my favorite lesson in environmentalism.
Actually, I was the one who informed my grandmother on environmental issues during my youth and as I got older. Gorowing up in the 90s there were different shows that addressed environment-related problems, such as Captain Planet. I would watch an episode and tell my grandmother about problems our earth was facing and then ask my teachers about those issues. As I got older I created an even stronger interest towards the environment, and still talk to my grandmother about the environment. She did tell me about the basics: recycling, conserving water and other things like that, and through that I guess I took it upon myself to discover larger environment-related issues.
Everyday type of things such as don’t leave the water running while brushing, don’t leave the refrigerator door open, don’t leave the lights on, turn down the heat, turn up the a/c if you even use it. My parents loved animals and that was a big part of growing up, we had horses, dogs, cats and more. My mother loved gardening so planting, soil, seeds, proper watering were covered and my father loved star-gazing and astronomy – so pollution and smog were discussed as well.
My parents taught me to respect the planet and all living things. We traveled around the United States, camping and exploring beautiful places. My dad is a science teacher, so he would teach us facts about the various environments we visited. My mom is a gardener/florist, so I learned a lot about caring for plants from her. My family read books about different species and biomes of the world, and my fascination for the rainforest was cultivated from a young age. They introduced me to studies of the Earth, and my interest has grown throughout my life.
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