When we think about environmental impact and saving the planet, it’s usually in terms of adult successes and failures. In the most environmentalists’ opinions, people who drive gigantic SUVs are burning up fossil fuels and causing global warming, huge chemical companies are dumping harmful products into our drinking water, and textile corporations are abusing workers in third world countries. Psychics could have predicted that that these things would be bad for us in the future, but the easy and comfortable beat the practical and safe.
Most parents want to save the world for their children. They take precautions like driving hybrid SUVs, packing organic snacks in their lunches, and sanitizing anything that ever even looked at a chicken. Instead of over-analyzing ways they can keep our environment and their kids safe, we need to teach them how to be proactive and step things up a notch. Here are some lifelong lessons you may want to instill in your child’s environmental education:
Taking the Bus to School
Most of the children who attend schools today get dropped off by their parents in luxurious SUV’s. Most of the adults are afraid to let their kids walk to the bus stop in the morning in fear of their children getting harmed. Allow your kids walk to the bus stop in order to teach them about moderate exercise and the importance of public transportation. When they get older, they will realize the ease of an urban commute and the environmental efficiency of the bus system.
Remember taking a brown-bag lunch to school? Just about every kid did it and didn’t say a word about it. Today schools are filled with soda and snack machines, deep fried mozzarella sticks, and other processed nightmares. There are healthy options available on the school menu, but kids aren’t going to pick it over sugar, fat, and salt. You can teach your kids about eating healthier if you avoid giving them cash and pack a traditional lunch. If you pack a perishable meal, make sure to let your child’s teacher know to put it in the cooler.
Packing a lunch teaches kids how to become fiscally responsible later on in life. Instead of eating out at a restaurant when they get office jobs, kids who are packed with a lunch will be more inclined to bring their own lunch when they reach adulthood.
Demanding Corporate Responsibility
Most Americans realize that government accountability is a thing of the past. Cronyism, lobbyists, and all-around corruption are the norm instead of reasonable debate and common sense. Make sure that your children learn the importance of civics; but also make sure they vote with their wallets. By not purchasing things from harmful big businesses, they will have no way to fund their exploitation of the earth. Only use products in your home which demonstrate your own morality concerning corporate responsibility.
By letting your children know about their environmental and social impacts, they will be better prepared later on in life. Give a child a fish, you have fed him for a day; teach a child to fish, you have taught him about the dangers of mass produced fish farms.