I am not by nature a whole-wheat, Earth Mother, organic fabric, cloth diaper kind of person. I love to consume and I have a taste for the good life. I would rather wear designer clothes and own a Lexus than grow my hair long, go barefoot, and attend a love-in. In short, an adult hippie, I am not. Not that I do wear designer clothes or own a Lexus. I’m much too thrifty, and er, middle class for that. After all, I’m the child of parents who lived through the Depression. Even if I could afford that kind of lifestyle, I probably wouldn’t live it: I am cautious to the bone, and conserve wherever and whenever possible.
And that’s where the actual subject matter of this piece comes in, which is supposed to be about teaching kids to be better stewards of their planet. When we leave God’s green earth, we have a responsibility to leave it in the same if not better shape for the next generation. A large part of that is providing our children with the tools to maintain and improve the planet.
That’s the legacy we must leave for our grandchildren.
This isn’t the kind of project you place within a time frame. Preserving our resources must be an ongoing effort. One great way to teach your child about the cycle of life—the chain of events that keep the universe in motion—is to give your child a patch of dirt.
Whether you choose to present your child with a small corner of your backyard, a 60 cm. section of earth in your garden bed, or a spot in nature close by your home, give your child the responsibility of overseeing the child-sized location. If your child is very young, this may be as simple a task as noting how seasonal changes affect the area, scattering seeds for birds that may be hungry in winter, or planting seeds just to see what happens.
Through these small burdens of care for a single patch of earth, children assume individual responsibility for the state of our environment. They learn that the care of our universe rests on all of us, no matter whether we’re uptight cautious consumers or long-haired Earth Mother types. The greening of the universe begins with knowing that the earth belongs to everyone.
For more on making greener children, read A Mother’s Voice Can Make Greener Children
Varda Epstein is a content writer and editor for CogniBeat where she writes about the issues that affect not only those with learning difficulties, but their families, too.
Image via playingwithpsp