Many studies have been done to demonstrate the various positive effects that time with nature has on children, including better academic performance, more advanced motor skills, improved physical and mental health, and better social skills than those that are not consistently exposed to it. Beyond all these benefits though, there is also the fact that intruducing children to nature and letting them form a connection with it allows them to develop a natural understanding of its value and a desire to sustain it. Educating children about environmental issues is good, but letting them experience them for themselves is invaluable.
Everyone should have a connection with their environment. We are the only creatures (with maybe the exception of animals in the zoo) that live so cut-off from our natural surroundings. This hurts us practically and mentally. If we pollute our land, we pollute ourselves. Furthermore, if our modern-day petroleum based lifestyle were to collapse for any number of reasons, how many people would know how to live off the land? Nature can survive without us, but we can’t survive without nature, no matter how distant our lifestyles stray from it.
I also think it’s important for children to connect with nature, since it’s likely they will develop a lifelong relationship with it. A lot of habits that we have as adults were formed when we were children, and having a positive relationship with nature can grow throughout one’s life. I remember going to summer camp and doing eco-friendly activities, which sparked my love for the environment as an adult. A lot of children’s television programs are trying to influence the importance of being green, which I think is a great start.
In addition to the reasons already stated here, the future of our planet lies in their not yet developed hands. No matter how much we try to be environmental friendly, it would all be in vain if the youth of the world do not share the same passion for keeping the world a great place to live. In order for this world to go on existing int he way it does today, all generations after us must keep the environment in mind enough to keep it from being destroyed. It is not only our responsibilty to take care of our environment, but also to make sure that those we hand it off to have similar views.
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