In today's world, with the increasing screen time, demand for colorful toys and stationery, and peer pressure, it's becoming a challenge to introduce sustainability in the lives of children. However, many educational institutions have started promoting the message of protecting the environment through practical activities from an early stage. Sustainability is no longer just an add-on subject but an integral part of the school curriculum. Did you know that primary school children are already familiar with concepts like recycling and reusing, which is a good sign?
To make more resources accessible to kids and help them understand the bigger picture of sustainability, we can introduce them to various resources such as videos, online games, and quizzes. These resources can help kids learn about recycling, gardening, and being resourceful with products and items that they use. Here is a quick link to some helpful resources:
1. Indian Resources:-
A. Young Environmentalist (YE) is a collection of games, quizzes, videos, and DIY for different age groups. It is a Down To Earth (Centre for Science and Environment) and Gobar Times initiative to promote environmental awareness among the young and curious.
B. Mission Life has an interactive section with posters, songs, and matching games that introduce the concepts of sustainable things in daily life.
2. US EPA “Recycle City and others”: It has interesting resources to learn about pollution, litter, and 3R in a fun and interesting way.
3. Children of Earth: This features a lot of work done by the children only, from videos to stories to different writeups. Kids inspire each other and thus this collection we are including in this list.
4. Video links with key messages :
- Kids vs. Plastic Series on National Geographic, which focuses on re-purposing and reducing plastic waste.
- Ecoman Videos with themes based on superheroes solving Earth’s problems along with kids.
- Introduce the 3Rs in a fun and musical way
Expose them to the concept in interesting ways, below are some activities you can engage them in to put things into action. This is a win-win for everyone involved.
1. RECYCLE: Create and label recycling bins with your kids at home. Use the blank side of a used paper to label bins. Having separate bins makes it easier to put used papers, plastic wrappers, or packing and other items in designated places.
2. OUTSIDE PLAY: When kids enjoy the outdoors, it encourages them to take actions that are good for the earth. Of course, there is an added benefit of less screen time.
3. EXPERIMENT: Show them a simple way to make chemical-free cleaners to wipe their desks and tables. You just need some repurposed plastic bottles (with lids), fruit/vegetable scraps, and jaggery. With these, you can create effective biodegradable cleaning products. Or start composting at home and let them experience the transformation of food to soil.
5. SWITCH OFF: Make them savings champions with simple things like switching off fans, lights, and water taps from an early age. There can be a reward star for them helping save electricity and water.
By introducing fun and impactful activities that teach kids about recycling, composting, reusing, segregating, and saving, we can help them develop a lifelong commitment to sustainability.