Today, over half a billion children live in extremely high flood & drought occurrence zones. Research has shown that climate change will increase the frequency of droughts, floods and severe weather events. Severe weather events can disrupt infrastructure critical to children’s well-being, including schools, health facilities and transport. Droughts and flooding destroy crops, disrupt water systems and contaminate water reserves.
Despite having gained substantial importance over the recent years, the concept of sustainability isn’t as widely implemented as it is discussed. Sustainable living is nothing but reducing one’s use of Earth’s natural resources to maintain ecological balance. It advocates not creating excessive waste and prioritizing the use of natural resources. Sustainable living is crucial to our future generations so that they can live comfortably without being subjected to ecological and economic problems. If we do not limit our consumption patterns, our children might face increased pollution levels and remain bereft of a healthy standard of living.
Change starts at home, no matter how small it is. Our children are the future and to make the world a healthier, happier place to live in, we must educate our children on the significance of sustainable living. Here are five easy ways in which you and your children can start your journey to a sustainable future:
Reusable over Disposable
Instead of buying plastic water bottles or using paper cups every time you travel or go out for a movie, ask your children to carry their own metallic water bottles or sippers. This greatly reduces their consumption of plastic and paper. What’s more, you won’t have to constantly keep worrying about water hygiene. Being sustainable in this case also turns out to be far more economical.
Every drop counts
Encourage your children to switch off the tap while brushing their teeth or washing their hands. Have them switch to using a bucket for having a bath, or, if using a shower, time yourself, so you’re not spending too much time under it. Reuse the water from your RO filters for mopping the floor or watering your plants or washing your clothes. Water scarcity is going to be a very real problem that our children might face in the not-too-distant future.
Waste not, want not.
Serve small portions of food on plates. This helps children gauge if they’re truly hungry before serving themselves a second portion, and we can avoid food wastage. This is also a wonderful way to introduce our children to where we source our food from, and the many advantages of going local. A sustainable future is one were we try and reduce our carbon footprint!
Right from an early age, instil the habit of switching off the lights and fans when not in use. Open the blinds in your own room to let natural light in the morning instead of switching on electric lights. Your children will follow suit. Look up sustainable and renewable sources of energy to switch to, where you can.
Grow a green thumb
Children love watching things grow and the sense of accomplishment they feel when they’re the reason behind it is unbeatable! If you have the space to maintain a small vegetable garden, why don’t you give it a go? It also works as a fun activity to bond with your children while caring for the environment.
Less is more
This one can be slightly tricky as who doesn’t want everything? But, encouraging your children to use resources that they have judiciously is the way to be. Have them use their art supplies, stationery and clothes responsibly. We can set examples ourselves by buying the things that we truly need, rather than those we truly want. Even small changes, like waiting until an occasion, or until your old phone breaks down to buy that new gadget you’ve been eyeing, will make a positive difference. Teaching your children about delayed gratification has proven to have many benefits as well.
With minor lifestyle changes, we can create a major difference in the health of our planet and the quality of lives of our future generations. Are there any changes that you’ve made to your lifestyle that we can all incorporate? Tell us in the comments below!