Why We Need to Teach Children About Conservation

Conservation isn’t just for grown-ups. Teaching kids about our world and how to live it in sustainably should a keystone of their education. It’s important for their understanding of the world, and it may influence how they live as adults — and maybe even how people live for many generations to come.

They Can Make a Difference

Anyone one can make a difference, and even incremental ones are important when dealing with something like conservation that affects everyone. A child who knows how to treat nature well, recycle things instead of trashing them and choose environmentally friendly options will have a small direct positive impact on the health of the environment.

That change, though, can have a ripple effect. They may end up teaching their friends a little about conservation or even get their schools more interested in taking steps to operate more sustainably. When kids learn about conservation, their parents do. One study found that when children participate in a wetlands education program, their parents were also better informed and practice better water management at home.

It’s Important for Their Education

To really understand how the world works, you need to have knowledge of the environment that we all exist in. It’s fundamental to a thorough understanding of life and is a prerequisite to understanding many other aspects of life. Everything we do starts with the foundation of our environment, so we should start teaching kids early too.

Habits Start Young

We start forming habits from a young age, and those formed during childhood may become the ones that are most ingrained in us. A Brown University study found that by the age of nine routines and habits likely won’t change.

Teach your kids habits such as eating local, whole fruits and vegetables and using non-toxic cookware. You could also show them what to recycle, and maybe start composting food waste. One of the most effective ways to teach kids these behaviors is by example. Do that, and they may stick with those healthy, eco-friendly practices through adulthood.

Today’s Kids Are the Future

When they learn about conservation, kids can make an immediate impact. It may also help them make a difference in the future. Learning the basics of sustainability and environmental science may spark an interest that leads to a career, volunteer activity or hobby in the future. Your kid may even go on to invent a new way to store renewable energy or help save an endangered species.

Plus, the children of today will be in charge of keeping the planet healthy in the future. Sadly, they’ll also have to deal with the consequences of damage done by many generations before them.

With the right tools, the children of today may be able to improve the health of our environment in the future, and they may even get a start on it while they’re still young. Education is one of the most vital tools they’ll need to save the environment they depend on.

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emilyfolk

Emily is a freelance conservation journalist who feels passionately about protecting endangered species and preserving the wilderness landscapes.

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