Parents, teachers, and pretty much anyone surrounding children have a responsibility to teach them about the world so they can function well as adults later in life. Everyone, whether they are around children or not, has a responsibility to the global environment everyone relies on for air, food, and water. Given these two truths, there are many reasons to teach children to care for the environment.
1. It’s the Only Planet Humanity Has
There have long been dreams of visiting other worlds. Some dreamers even have plans of colonizing them. However, it’s been decades since anyone even set foot on the Moon, and no one has ever visited another planet. Children need to understand that this is the only home they have and they need to care for it.
2. Kids Can See Past Themselves
Teaching kids to care about the environment helps them learn how to think about others. While they do need to learn how to take care of themselves and pursue their own ambitions, they also need to learn how to balance that with the fact this is a shared world with lots of other people. Their passion for the environment can be a service to themselves and others, but it might even be an inspiring example others follow.
3. Earth Feeds Them
The youngest of children know that feeding comes from a bottle or a breast. Older kids might think it just magically shows up in the kitchen, and yet older children will understand that trips to the grocery store are involved. At some point, they need to know that everything on the table was once a plant or animal. More than that, they should possibly learn how much farmers do to raise livestock and crops, from water or soil samples to dealing with companies that take their goods to markets across the nation.
4. More Caring People Are Necessary
There are plenty of people who care about the environment. However, as Green Oklahoma states, there simply aren’t enough to turn the tide of environmental degradation yet. Raising an entire generation or two who do care might actually do the trick if it’s not too late.
5. Earth Is a Living Thing
Kids need to learn to respect living things. That includes their family and friends, but also other people and even animals they encounter. As early as they can grasp the concept, this understanding should include the whole world. As Working Mother points out, it is a living entity on a global scale.
6. They’re More Likely to Care Later
Caring for the Earth shouldn’t just be a value but an actual habit. When respect for the environment is ingrained in children at a young age, it becomes a natural discipline to them later in life. There was a time you didn’t know how to tie your shoes. Now, your fingers can do it just off of muscle memory.
Whether it’s cleaning up the damage done to the environment or advancing the gains humanity makes in correcting climate change, the youth of today will someday inherit the world and the responsibility for it. For everyone’s sake, it’s best to teach them to care for it now so they will know how when they grow up.