Global warming, soil contamination, air pollution, water pollution, noise pollution, soil erosion, deforestation-these all are global issues today. Every day we are reading news pieces and articles, watching debates and panel discussions, getting aware of different laws being passed to save the earth’s environment and what not? But is that bearing any fruits? We as individuals are not ready to give up the comfort and luxury of modern living that’s because, as kids, we were immersed in books and were surrounded by academic knowledge. The importance and needs for a greener earth were not instilled in us. What is done cannot be undone. We cannot change that now. What we can do is teach some important values and habits among kids today, right from their kindergarten stage. As the topic of the article reads “Pave the Green Path,” it means we the elders have to pave responsibly the greener path for the kids today, so that in future they understand these global issues and make the world a better place to live in. Here are the few things that we can start doing with kids today.
Going green does not only mean planting trees. Of course, schools can take up projects of planting trees in and around the campus. But more than that what is needed is that we teach them the importance and the need for planting new trees. The teacher has to be an eye-opener for the kids. She should teach the kids the greener alternatives of appalling step we take today. For example, the kids need to be taught that walking 10,000 steps a day and eating a proper diet is the greener alternative to running on a treadmill that consumes large amounts of electricity.
The teacher can talk to the school authorities and organize a trip for the kids to some park or garden. It is the teacher’s duty to inspire the kids and how them the amount of effort that goes in maintaining a plant. She should also make them feel the serenity of being in a green park with trees everywhere. Such short trips should be organized at least once a month, to keep reminding the kids that they have to save the earth for their and our future generations. Such trips are short and do not involve many costs.
More than a teacher, it is the parents who have the maximum effect on the mental growth and thinking of a child. Parents should make their children watch the news on television or online sites and read newspapers every day to make them aware of the current situation of the world they are living in. Children should be able to understand the seriousness and the danger the world is facing today. In school, the teacher can show the kids how electricity is wasted when the fans and lights and other devices are not switched off when not in use.
The importance of physical activities must be instilled in children from a very early age. They should be exposed to physical activities like running, walking, cycling so that they are not dependent on electronic devices for staying fit. Te importance of sports and outdoor games must be related to the kids both at home and at school.
Children should be taught the importance of the 3Rs- reduce, reuse and recycle. And handing them EVS books won’t serve this purpose. Practical demonstrations should be given to them so that they can have a better understanding of the process. They should be taught to repair things and to use them until the end, instead of throwing them away and buying new ones. For example, they should be shown that how we can reuse an old plastic bottle as a pen stand or a vase. The more they see, the more they will learn.
The teacher can implement newer and innovative methods in the class to explain the importance of going green in the class. Only oral and handwritten notes will not serve the purpose as children find study books boring. The teacher can come up with video shows and presentations projected on the board, which will have a better and more intense impact on the kids in the class.
The teacher can also introduce a reward system in the class. The student who saves maximum power and energy at the end of the month will be rewarded. For example, the teacher should keep an eye on the students’ behavior inside the class, how regular they are in switching off the lights and fans before leaving the class, how many times they shut down the computer properly, how they come to school. The teacher should also be in close contact with the parents and keep taking reports from them about each kid on a regular basis. At the end of the month, the child with the best record should be rewarded. This will encourage every single child in the class, and there will be a healthy competition. This spirit of going green will remain with them for the rest of their lives.
What the school authorities can also do is to give each class a piece of land and ask them to garden it throughout the year. There should be regular gardening classes. The class that puts up and presents the best garden at the end of an academic session will be rewarded.
The students can be taken for trips to sites where organic farming is done. They will see and understand why it is not advisable to use fertilizers and pesticides. At home too, parents should try to give the organic way of living to their kids. When these kids grow up, they will always opt for organic food and other organic products because they will be so used to it that they will find it difficult in consuming processed food and other manufactured items.
So, with this, we come to the end of the article. Kids are very sensitive. Whatever they are taught at their early age and during those initial days, that stays with them throughout their lives. So we should better start instilling those values in them!