Be Good Guests & Be Compassionate Towards Mother Nature

“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it”- Robert Swan

How rightly put. Safeguarding and nurturing the environment is every citizen’s duty and we ought not to pass the baton to someone else, ignoring our basic responsibilities towards the earth. It is our collective and individual responsibility to nurture nature for a better future.

Mass cutting down of trees and deforestation, drying up of rivers and streams due to drastic climate change, contamination of water bodies due to random dumping of sewage and toxic wastes, vehicle exhaust fumes, and exhaustion from industries and factories that are slowly poisoning the air we breathe are constantly ringing an alarm cautioning us that it’s time to wake up and take action.

In our endeavor to help the environment, it’s better to involve the younger generation by inculcating in their sustainable habits and concern for the environment.

Some ways to arouse awareness about the environment in children: –

1. Planting trees is the best and simplest way to safeguard biodiversity. Today, most of us live in apartment-style houses or flats. So, we have the option of indoor plants. Indoor plants have a plethora of benefits. Encourage your children to help you in planting indoor plants. Ask them to water the plants. Explain to them the benefits of such plants. Teach them not to pluck flowers and ask them to monitor others who try to destroy flowers. Children feel happy when entrusted with responsibilities and act maturely.

2. Foster love and compassion in your child for every living being. It’s not always necessary to have pets at home. Teach your child to empathize with animals, be it street dogs, cats, or cows. Teach them not to crush tiny insects or cockroaches as per their whims. I have a pet dog in my parent’s house. My 2-year-old son adores him. He shares all his food with him and loves playing with him. Likewise, he adores those kittens, which he found in his grandparents’ house. Every time, he sees a cow on the road, he is so excited. Teach your child to be compassionate towards these four-legged beings.

3. Charity begins at home. Let awareness too begin at home. Teach your children about recycling and which waste should go into which bin. Teach them to switch off fans and lights as soon as they leave a room. Teach them about the importance of water and electricity and how to conserve them. Teach your children not to wastewater, to close the tap after every use, to keep the water tap closed while brushing. Avoid using plastics and teach your children about their harmful effects.

4. Lead by example. At every traffic signal, put off the ignition of your vehicle. Teach your children how to save natural resources. Do not blow horns unnecessarily, especially near hospitals and schools. Do not play mikes and loudspeakers above the permissible limit. Encourage children to burst eco-friendly firecrackers during festivals and to avoid those that emit harmful fumes.

5. Stimulate their interest in outdoor activities. Encourage your children to go out in the open and play. Encourage them to run, play outdoor games, cycle, and engage in various activities. Take them to parks, where they can enjoy themselves on the swings, sea-saw, and slips. Instead of taking them to shopping malls and video games parlor, take them to the zoo, botanical gardens, and animal safari. Outdoor activities will not only add to their happiness quotient but also make them environment-conscious.

Though in the present scenario, when the Global pandemic is rendering havoc, outdoor activities for children is a strict no. But this situation shall not prevail forever. When things return to normalcy, children will go back to their routine life.

It’s important to teach your children about the environment from an early age as these environment-conscious habits will then become a normal part of their sustenance. The more children are taken closer to nature, they will develop an emotional connection with Mother Earth. They shall learn to nurture and protect the environment. Every effort, however small, can bring about a change. Conserving the environment is not merely for her benefit but the survival of our future generation.

Conservation of the environment deserves to be a huge priority and let’s prioritize it in the eyes of our children too, by imbibing in them a proper awareness and compassion for Mother Nature.

Children are like soft clays, let them take their own shape and unfold.
You are the strong mold to caress and nurture their compassion for the nature that cocoons us within.

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Thank you for reading.
By Punam Basu

Punam Basu
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